Equiano Takes King's Stand
1st (13) Equiano 22-1
Equiano delivered the first Spanish-trained winner at Royal Ascot when scoring at 22/1 in the King’s Stand Stakes.
The Mauricio Delcher-Sanchez-trained three-year-old prevailed by half-a-length in the hands of Olivier Peslier.
It was a dream result for owner James Acheson, for whom this was his first ever runner.
Co.Tyrone-based farmer Acheson said: “We’ve only had him two weeks .
“We have been looking to buy a stallion in the last 18 months and we just spotted this horse through bloodstock agent Brian Grassick - he sources horses for us.
“We thought he had stallion potential. We liked him and thought he was very good looking horse.
“We didn’t think he would win today and can’t quite believe it. The trainer said he had been very happy with him since his last race (second in a Group 2 at Chantilly 16 days earlier) and said he had got even better.
“It’s the first horse I’ve ever had race for me. They are my father Walter’s colours and hadn’t been used in 30 years.
“The last furlong was a bit of a dream. We thought he was going to be overtaken but he basically hammered them.
“The horse is going to Barry Hills tonight. I have an unraced filly with him and another with Michael Bell.”
Acheson is very involved in showjumping and stands showjumping stallions in Ireland. He bought Liscalgot and she won the World Showjumping Championships at Jerez, Spain, in 2002.
Acheson summed up: “We are quite lucky!”
MORE TO COME FROM TAKEOVER TARGET
Australian trainer Joe Janiak believes there is more to come from Takeover Target in the Golden Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot on Saturday, after the nine-year-old filled the runner-up spot in the five-furlong King’s Stand Stakes.
Takeover Target, winner of the King’s Stand Stakes in 2006 and fourth last year, was unable to overhaul Spanish raider Equiano but pleased his handler in battling on to be beaten half a length under Jay Ford.
Janiak said: “I’m very happy with that. He’s blown up a bit so there should still be some improvement for Saturday in the Golden Jubilee Stakes when the extra furlong will suit him better.
“Judging from what Jay (Ford) said, he had the winner two furlongs out but the winner wouldn’t give in. My fella is older and has just lost a bit of speed over this shorter distance - where he used to go away from them - but he’s hung in and he’s superb. He never runs a bad race.”
The Celtic Swing gelding was third in the 2006 Golden Jubilee Stakes and was just touched off by Soldier’s Tale in the six-furlong contest 12 months ago. Janiak is keen to take in all three British legs of the Global Sprint Challenge, with the Darley July Cup at Newmarket on the agenda after Ascot.
“If he pulls up well on Saturday he will go to the July Cup at Newmarket. It’s part of the series and now we know more about the track there than when he was seventh in 2006 - we’ll put more work on him this time.
“Jay’s under the impression he’ll get further now that he’s older so a stiff six furlongs shouldn’t be a problem there.”
Newmarket trainer Jeremy Noseda believes that beaten 15/8 favourite Fleeting Spirit may have been below par despite finishing a brave third under Ryan Moore, half a length and a neck behind the winner.
Noseda revealed: “I’m happy enough but I don’t think she quite performed to her very best.
“I had a few horses out of sync over the past four or five days and she might have lacked a bit of spark - maybe I’m making excuses.
“She’s run a good brave race but I do think she’s a better filly than that. Time will tell.”
Olivier Peslier, the winning rider on Equiano, said: “He ran very well in France and today was a big ambition, but the horse has a lot of speed. He travelled well, but before the race the trainer said it’s better to stay behind and get cover, stay behind the lead. But I said it’s five furlongs and that he has a lot of speed and he’s better with the rail.
“I checked the far side rail but that’s a second race. I rode my race and after the last two furlongs I checked to see what was happening.”
Frankie Dettori, on the fourth Dandy Man who raced on the far side with three others and was beaten by three on the stands’ side, declared: “He has run a super race from the draw. It can’t be helped. When you run with the main group, you tend to run a bit faster.”
Saeed bin Suroor, the trainer of Dandy Man, added: “He ran well to be fourth. Last time he lost a shoe but this time he showed his form. He likes fast ground and five furlongs and we will keep him at this distance. We will see how he comes out of this race before deciding his next target.”
Kevin Shea, who led the four-strong far side group on National Colour who showed blistering pace before weakening to finish sixth, said: “That is how she races. They did not want me to do anything differently today. She just needed the run after 14 months off but the important thing is that she is sound.”
Damien Oliver, the rider of Australian raider Magnus who finished eighth, commented: “He had very chance and ran well. I would have liked to see him run a bit better. He probably felt the ground a little bit - a bit fast for him. That is his last race - he’s off to stud now.”
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