A MALTON-trained racehorse is helping to keep the name of a well-known rugby league player in the spotlight.

The two-year old, who is training with Richard Fahey, shares the name of Steve Prescott, a Rugby League international who was diagnosed with a rare form of stomach cancer, aged 32.

Following the diagnosis, he set up the Steve Prescott Foundaton and completed a number of gruelling, challenges to raise money for causes close to his heart.

In 2010 Steve was awarded an MBE for services to Rugby League and charity, and he continued his fund-raising efforts until his death last November aged 39.

Businessman Marwan Koukash, who owns a string of leading racehorses and the Salford Red Devils Rugby League club, wanted to bring Steve's name into racing and with the approval of his family, named his latest horse after the player.

After the Dutch Art-sired colt stormed to victory at the five furlong maiden race at Haydock, Koukash said: “I have never been so thrilled in all my life as I have been this evening by Steve Prescott winning.”

“I wanted to spread his legacy into racing. Obviously everyone in Rugby League knows about Steve Prescott but I wanted to bring his name into racing.”

Steve’s wife Linzi and two sons were also at Haydock on Saturday to see the horse’s impressive debut.

Marwan said he wanted to give the family “something to cheer them up” and has also pledged to donate all prize money to the Steve Prescott Foundation.

“I wanted a horse fast enough and brave enough who was fit to carry his name," he added.

"I didn’t want to name just any horse, it had to be a decent one.”

Trainer Richard Fahey said: “It’s tremendous Marwan has named him after Steve, who was a wonderful rugby player and inspiration to so many people. He’s a horse we like and hopefully he will raise awareness of – and money for – the Steve Prescott Foundation.”