Equiano colt Dancing Flames has launched his Hong Kong career with an awesome debut in the Chuen Lung Hcp (1000m) at Sha Tin.
The Danny Shum trained speed machine overcame a tricky inside gate to clock 56.51s down the straight course on Sunday. He jumped straight to the front under Chad Schofield and then proceeded to dominate the season’s first race restricted to three-year-olds.
“He’s a star,” Shum said after the colt held off Diego Kosta (Charge Forward) with a five-length margin to the rest of the field. “He’s very professional and kept improving after getting here from Australia. Now we will look to the Griffin Trophy later this year.”
Swettenham Stud shuttler Equiano (Fr) sired the exciting prospect from Allegretto (Anabaa). She is a Contract Racing mare and is a sister to Hong Kong Group 3 winner High Intelligent and a half-sister to G2 Emancipation Stakes winner Hec Of A Party (Hector Protector).
Allegretto foaled a Helmet colt in August and she has been tested in foal to Swettenham Stud’s new Group 1 sire Toronado (Ire).
Dancing Flames was originally named Equita in Australia and had won a Cranbourne trial in April before his connections accepted a bid on behalf of owner Tam Chau.
“Chad’s father Glyn Schofield advised us to buy the horse,” Shum recalled. “He beat Kinglike in the trial and that horse has turned out to be one of the better three-year-old sprinters in Australia.”
Schofield jnr had been riding Dancing Flames in track work and knew he had ability. “He was still pretty big today and will be better for the run,” the winning jockey predicted. “He’s very quick and can quicken again off a good speed – only pretty good horses can do that.”
The Hong Kong victory completed an outstanding week for Equiano. In England, he had a yearling filly sell for 130,000gns (AUD 285,550) at the Tattersalls October Sale and his classy three year-old The Tin Man ran a cracking fourth against older horses in the G1 British Champions Sprint (1200m) at Ascot on Saturday.
Closer to home, Equiano’s record-breaking colt Kerauno bolted in when making his debut on Friday. Trainer Mick Price will bring the $420,000 Inglis Premier graduate to town after that eye-catching victory at Donald.
Swettenham stands Equiano for a $13,750 (inc gst) service fee.