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The Melbourne Premier plaudits for Swettenham Stud sire Equiano continued on Tuesday when his first-crop rounded out Session 1 with an exceptional average of $105,200.
Top price among his 15 lots was the $420,000 colt from Hidden Energy. It was the highest price ever paid for a yearling by a first season sire in Victoria.
Swettenham owner Adam Sangster and his staff received further recognition when Inglis voted their draft the best-presented among all the studs represented at Oaklands. And the Swettenham marquee would also vie for ‘Best on Ground’ in the hospitality stakes. “It’s been a tremendous team effort,” Sangster said on Tuesday evening. “Everyone at the stud and the Flemington office did a terrific job promoting our yearlings.” New Zealand based breeders Bruce and Maureen Harvey were pleased they got in on the ground floor with Equiano. The Ascot Farm owners pin-hooked the Equiano - Plus Jamais filly at the Inglis Great Southern Foal Sale last year for $28,000. They booked a return ticket to Oaklands and cashed in when she made $160,000 on Tuesday. The filly will stay in Victoria to be trained by Jason Warren at Mornington.
Another profitable pin-hook was the Equiano - Circus Polka colt that cost Newcastle trainer Paul Perry $170,000 on Sunday. He went through the Oaklands sale-ring as a foal for $35,000 last year. “All the Equiano yearlings I’ve inspected this week are very good types,” Perry said. “They’re well-balanced, well put together and have plenty of presence.” He trained champion sprinter Choisir to win the 2003 King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot and Equiano doubled up with Group 1 victories in the same race in 2008 and 2010.
Perry also prepares Circus Polka’s two year-old colt Moduc who won at Newcastle and Scone in January before finishing an unlucky second in the $250,000 Inglis Premier at Mornington on February 12.
Another pin-hooker with an eye for a good horse is Slickpix photographer Ross Holburt. He bought the Equiano - Smytzer's Thunder filly for $16,000 at the 2013 Great Southern Foal Sale and was rewarded with a $145,000 pay-day when she was sold to Barrie Griffiths. “We decided to showcase the first Equiano weanlings at the Great Southern Sale and they were typical of the foals he was siring,” Swettenham Stud manager Brian Gorman said. “We knew they were good and it’s pleasing to see they’ve really gone on with it.” Equiano (Fr) has another 9 yearlings catalogued for the Adelaide Magic Millions starting on March 10 including 3 colts from Swettenham.
In England, Equiano has his first two year-olds in training and there are two colts by him entered for the Tattersalls Craven Breeze Up Sale commencing on April 15.
Lot 114 at Tattersalls is an Equiano half-brother to Polar Force, a winner of 8 races who was also Group 1 placed in the Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh.
Lot 148 is a half-brother to French stakes performer Ominous (Oasis Dream).