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Equiano is blazing a trail with his three year-olds in Europe and their Aussie counterparts are heading in the same direction.
The Swettenham Stud shuttler started the new season with Pakenham winner Devil’s Pinch on Friday and he bobbed up again with the Wendy Kelly trained Del Piero at Moe on Sunday.
Del Piero (3c Equiano - Simply Rossa by Testa Rossa) had finished fourth on debut at Sale in February and returned for a first-up victory in the S & S Equipment Hire Plate (1100m). Ridden a positive race by Craig Newitt, he sat three-wide without cover and got first run on Atlantic Road to score by a short-head.
“He’s still learning and it was a very good win because he didn’t really handle the heavy track,” Kelly said. “He’s a chilled-out, laid-back horse and waited for the others when he got to the front. Then, when the favourite ranged up, he switched back on and away he went.
“I’ve had a good opinion of him from the start. I just hoped he would keep progressing and come back ready for a three year-old campaign. He’s done that and now we will take him to town for a midweek race at Sandown.”
The Equiano colt carries the colours made famous by Testa Rossa. He was bred by John Cappellin and is raced by his wife Gillian in partnership with Lou Tarquinio and Paul Launech.
His dam Simply Rossa was stakes-placed at Flemington for the Cappellins and her only other foal to race is Stratum winner Graceland. The mare has a yearling colt by Swettenham sire Master Of Design.
Equiano (Fr) is standing for a $13,750 (inc gst) fee at Swettenham Stud this year.