This is the time of the year when breakers are in the spotlight after educating our latest crop of new-season two year-olds.
Wangaratta based horseman Chris Ledger is one of the best in the business and he has gone out on a limb with the first juvenile races less than a month away.
“The Equiano – Hidden Energy colt is one of the best I’ve ever broken in,” Ledger claimed this week. “I look after a lot of the young ones going to Mick Price and there’s been none better – including Lankan Rupee!”
The colt broke the record for a first-season sire at the 2014 Melbourne Premier yearling sale when commanding $420,000. He was purchased by Malaysian based owner Vincent Tan and has been named Kerauno which is the Ancient Greek word for lightning.
“Kerauno is a magnificent mover,” Ledger continued. “He was a bit hot early on but settled down once we got him down to the track. He bowls along super and has a beautiful temperament.
“He went down to Caulfield and Mick put him through the gates and then sent him out for a break. I’m as keen as anybody to see him race.”
Swettenham Stud owner Adam Sangster stands Equiano at his Nagambie nursery and there were 76 live foals from his first southern crop. They will begin racing on the back of a promising start by his English bred juveniles – there have been 12 individual winners in Europe so far this year.
Kerauno (2c Equiano – Hidden Energy by Dehere) is the second foal of a mare who was Group 1 placed in the SAJC Robert Sangster Stakes. His price-tag helped Equiano average $105,200 at the Melbourne Premier 1 Sale.
Mornington trainer Pat Carey weighed in with $100,000 for the Equiano – Anna Dana filly at Oaklands Junction and has already tagged her an exciting prospect.
“This is a filly of real quality,” Carey claimed. “She’s well developed, nicely balanced with a good stride and her breeding suggests she could be a two-year old.”
The filly’s pedigree has continued to improve since she changed hands. Her Kaphero half-brothers – Our Kapow and Our Kaboom – both broke through following the Melbourne Premier. Anna Dana (USA) was stakes placed in Kentucky and second dam Mount Helena (Danzig) is a half-sister to champion sire Street Cry.
Adelaide trainer Lloyd Kennewell is flying with brilliant three year-old Get The Nod and he has a strong team of babies in work at Morphettville.
Kennewell paid $120,000 for the Equiano – Subtle Breeze colt at the Gold Coast Magic Millions and reports the youngster is going along as good as gold. “He’s got a lovely attitude and is a terrific mover. He’s been in and out of work a couple of times and could very well be an early-comer.”
The colt’s older half-brother Trust In A Gust earned 2013-14 Super VOBIS Horse of the Year honours and his managing part-owner Dennis Speechley is also in the Equiano colt.
“He’s VOBIS qualified, too,” Kennewell said. “I’m sure we will be crossing the border for those bonuses in the future.”
And in Sydney, champion trainer Chris Waller has just brought his Equiano – Mesh youngster back into work. The colt is owned by Bob Ingham’s daughter Debbie Kepitis and also cost $120,000 at the Gold Coast Magic Millions.
He’s from a half-sister to the dam of last year’s G1 Caulfield Guineas winner Long John. It’s a successful Woodlands Stud family and the colt is sure to carry on the Ingham tradition of excellence.
Equiano’s service fee has remained at a $15,000 (plus gst) this year.
“We are grateful that so many new clients have made enquiries and we also want to support those breeders who have already sent mares to him,” Sangster explained. “It’s an exciting time for us and the Victorian industry.”
Broodmare owners can make further enquiries for Equiano and the rest of the Swettenham Stud roster by calling Chris Belli, General Manager of Sales and Marketing, on 0417 514 552.