Group 1 VRC Newmarket Hcp winner Shamexpress proved what a tough assignment the King’s Stand Stakes can be when he could only finish ninth at Royal Ascot on Tuesday.
Since Choisir’s ground-breaking victory a decade ago, the likes of Magnus, Gold Trail, Nicconi, Ortensia and Shamexpress have all come up empty-handed.
To win the King’s Stand twice takes a special brand of sprinter. Only five horses have doubled up in the last century and the most recent – Equiano – stands out like a beacon.
* One of only five dual King’s Stand winners in the last century
* Rated the fastest horse ever trained by Barry Hills
* Represents the sensational Acclamation sireline
* Covered full books in his initial seasons in England & Australia
* Speed influence reminiscent of Rory’s Jester
* First foals made six figures at Tattersalls and Goffs Sales
In 2008, he defeated Takeover Target by a half-length and in 2010 he returned with a dominant display with Nicconi more than two lengths astern.
Swettenham Stud owner Adam Sangster is looking forward to the stallion’s next southern season at Nagambie. “Barry Hills rated Equiano the fastest horse he ever trained and he has the sprinting blood to excite any breeder,” Sangster said. “He’s beautifully balanced, sound horse and is also easy to handle.”
Equiano is just finishing his latest northern book and has now covered approximately 400 mares in the last three years at Newsells Park. He is the first sire son of Acclamation to stand in Australia and Sangster keeps harking back to some well-chosen words of advice from Colin Hayes when discussing his most pre-potent sire son.
“Colin said speed is the easiest quality to reproduce,” Sangster explained. “He was referring to Champion 2YO Stallion Rory’s Jester but those words certainly sprang to mind when we decided to sign Equiano for Swettenham.”
Acclamation is already building a reputation as a sire of sires and his Group 1 winning son Dark Angel is one of the most exciting young sires in Europe.
Buyers were keen to purchase Equiano’s first northern foals late last year. They sold to AUD 111,120 at Goffs and AUD 112,525 at Tattersalls.
The first southern foals by Equiano were also popular at the Inglis Great Southern Sale last month and were targeted by astute pin-hookers like NZ based Bruce Harvey.
Equiano will stand at Swettenham this year for an unchanged service fee of $16,500 (inc gst).