EQUIANO 3YO’s Burning in Europe
Equiano (Fr) is flying at the top-end of the European second-season table with his latest figures showing there have been 33 individual winners of 45 races so far this year.
A remarkable run of 14 wins in 20 days last month was the catalyst for his rise up the ladder and that winning strike-rate has continued into August.
Irish colt Waipu Cove is his most recent winner after claiming a Galway maiden by three lengths on Saturday. He cruised into the lead on the corner and jockey Leigh Roche hardly moved a muscle to see him home.
“We've always liked him although you never expect them to win like - he was very impressive,” stable spokesman Shane Lyons said. “We added blinkers as he shied at a gap last time - but he didn't need them as we could have tied a leg up today!"
Waipu Cove has been nominated to back up in the LR Canford Cliffs Stakes at Tipperary this Friday, August 7.
Belvoir Bay is another last-start Equiano winner heading for stakes company.
The Richard Hannon trained filly was a facile winner of the Jack Berry House Stakes during the Glorious Goodwood carnival last Friday. She sauntered clear of her rivals while Richard Hughes sat motionless in the final furlong.
"She's obviously quite decent and won very easily at Windsor before being taken off her feet in the Weatherbys Super Sprint at Newbury,” Hannon said. “We might try for a black type race next.”
Class colt Strath Burn leads the Equiano charge for black-type this term after a Group 3 victory in the Hackwood Stakes at Newbury on July 18. “He will be a better horse with more juice in the ground,” trainer Charlie Hills said. “There’s a few nice races for him now.”
Strath Burn is a typical Equiano – he earned black-type in France and England last year but is beginning to realise his full potential as a three year-old. "He has obviously got plenty of ability and his form is rock solid,” Hills said. “He was caught out a bit by inexperience last year but he’s improved with those runs under his belt.”
Qatar Racing’s Sheikh Fahad bought into the colt last year – he was initially purchased by Meikle Ben Stables owner Ronnie Bartlett for 62,000 guineas (AUD 116,400) at the 2014 Tattersalls Craven 2YO Sale.
Strath Burn holds a Group 1 nomination for the Nunthorpe Stakes at York on August 21, however, Hills may elect to send him across the Channel for a Group 2 sprint at Deauville.
Equiano hails from the Acclamation sireline which has emerged as a major influence in Europe through his son Dark Angel. He heads the UK 2YO table this year and he went further ahead when Godolphin colt Birchwood won the G2 Superlative Stakes at Newmarket on July 11.
Dark Angel retired to stud three years before Equiano and has now sired 20 stakes winners from his base at Morristown Lattin Stud in Ireland.
Acclamation retired to stud in 2005 and he remains a Top 5 stallion on the UK 2YO table. His chief earner this term has been Al Shaqab colt King Of Rooks who won the LR National Stakes at Sandown and was runner-up in the G3 Molecomb Stakes at Goodwood last week.
Equiano (Fr) will shuttle to Swettenham Stud for a $13,750 (inc gst) fee this year.