Equiano shuttles to Swettenham Stud

Swettenham Stud has announced dual G1 King’s Stand Stakes winner Equiano will join its roster for 2011.

“Equiano has the physical type and the sprinting blood to excite any breeder,” Swettenham owner Adam Sangster said this week.  “He will shuttle from Newsells Park and they have made a commitment to support the stallion with mares in his first four seasons.”

Equiano (6h Acclamation – Entente Cordiale by Ela-Mana-Mou) will be the first sire son of Acclamation to stand in Australia.  A gifted sprinter, Acclamation is already building a reputation as a sire of sires.  His G1 winning son Dark Angel is considered one of the most exciting young sires in Europe with 8 juvenile winners already from his first crop this year.

Sangster recalled a quote from Colin Hayes when clinching the deal to stand Equiano.  “When I first arrived in Australia in 1991, Colin said; ‘Speed is the easiest quality to reproduce’.

“He was referring to Champion 2YO Stallion Rory’s Jester but those words certainly sprang to mind when we started discussing a long term future for Equiano at Swettenham.”

Equiano (Fr) was a regular sparring partner for the likes of Australian sprint superstars Takeover Target and Starspangledbanner.

He won the 2008 King’s Stand Stakes as a three year-old against the older horses, emulating the performance of champion sire Pivotal who also won the race as a three year-old in 1996.

He took the initiative bouncing to the lead and making all the running before holding off the late challenge of Takeover Target to win by half a length.  The beaten brigade included star sprinters Fleeting Spirit, Benbaun, Magnus and Kingsgate Native.

Equiano won the Royal Ascot feature sprint again in 2010 as a five year-old defeating a high class field that included G1 winners Markab, Borderlescott, Nicconi, Kingsgate Native and Gold Trail.

He followed up with a gallant second, beaten a long neck, behind Starspangledbanner in the time-honoured G1 Darley July Cup at Newmarket.  “Equiano was genuinely tough and was the fastest horse I have trained,” trainer Barry Hills said.  “The exceptional speed he demonstrated in winning the King’s Stand Stakes marked him out as a very special sprinter.

“He was also a very sound horse and a perfect horse to deal with in every way.”

Equiano will stand at an early bird fee of $15,000 (inc gst) at Swettenham.