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Equiano sprinter Final Venture will be set for the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint following a brilliant first-up victory in Dubai.
The Paul Midgley trained gelding struck gold with a narrow win in the valuable Jebel Ali Port Hcp (1200m) at Meydan on Thursday.
Last seen finishing fifth at Wolverhampton on Boxing Day, he broke well for Pat Dobbs and held off a challenge from Sheikh Mohammed homebred Steady Pace to score by a nose.
"I was a passenger for most of the race,” Dobbs said. “He took me along quicker than I wanted to go and when I gave him a squeeze, he kept rolling. He's very tough and tries hard.”
Final Venture (5g Equiano – Sharplaw Venture by Polar Falcon) had been backed from $17 into $8 in England before landing the competitive turf sprint worth AUD 180,500. “Our target is an invite to the Al Quoz Sprint on Dubai World Cup night,” owner Andy Taylor said. “It’s now six furlongs (1200m) but down the line Pat and I both believe he will improve much more over the (1000m) minimum trip. He’s very exciting and could be anything.”
Bred by Newsells Park, Final Venture had won a Newcastle maiden in May 2015 and followed up with another fours scores at Hamilton (2), Carlisle and Pontefract in 2016.
Equiano gelding Desert Force is also making a mark in Dubai. He won two on the bounce at Meydan in December before finishing fourth in the Listed Dubawi Stakes last Thursday.
Swettenham Stud gave Equiano a year off southern shuttle duties last year after 10 dual-hemisphere books in a row. The Nagambie nursery has entered three Equiano yearlings for the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale in March including the first foal of Fastnet Rock winner Eternal Circle (Lot 744).