Dancing on a knife-edge in Hong Kong

Champion jockey Joao Moreira reckons Dancing Flames will rise up the grades in Hong Kong but not before he has surgery in the off-season.

The Victorian-bred Equiano colt is coming off a brilliant last-start win in the Ruby Hcp (1000m) clocking a super-quick 55.72s at Sha Tin.  He shouldered 60.5kg to an on-pace victory that was at odds to his prior start when he missed the kick and was tailed off down the straight course.

“I put that bad start down to him being a colt,” Moreira explained.  “He was moving his head around (in the barriers) and an operation would help.”

Trainer Danny Shum also believes it’s the key to further improvement at four next season.  “I will talk to the owner but my suggestion is that he be gelded.  He thinks a bit too much and is quite heavy.”

Initially named Equita in Australia, he had won a Cranbourne trial before Contract Racing accepted a bid on behalf of owner Tam Chau.

Swettenham Stud shuttler Equiano (Fr) sired Dancing Flames from Allegretto (Anabaa).  She is a sister to Hong Kong Group 3 winner High Intelligent and is in foal to Swettenham sire Toronado (Ire).

In England, Equiano stakes winning sprinter The Tin Man has been scratched from the G1 July Cup at Newmarket this Saturday and will be reserved for the G3 Hackwood Stakes (1200m) at Newbury on July 16.

“He came out of the G1 Diamond Jubilee very well and has been working nicely on the Limekilns,” trainer James Fanshawe said at Newmarket this week.  “But everything has been a rush for The Tin Man this season and it would be nice to go into a race without any hassle.

“There are some good Group 1 sprints to concentrate on at the end of the year.”

The Tin Man won the LR Leisure Stakes at his penultimate start and the next black-type opportunity for Equiano is Coolmore Stud filly Lyin Eyes in the LR Tipperary Stakes on Saturday.

Lyin Eyes (2f Equiano -Christmas Tart by Danetime) is owned by Susan Magnier after making 130,000gns (AUD 289,810) at the 2015 Tattersalls October yearling sale.  Her full-brother Tarando completed a hat-trick at Catterick late last year and her three-quarter sister Hoyam (Royal Applause) won the LR Roses Stakes at York.

Trainer Charles O’Brien has nominated Lying Eyes for the G1 Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh on August 7.  That’s also the intended target of Equiano’s last-start G2 Railway Stakes winnr Medicine Jack.

Swettenham Stud stands Equiano for a $13,750 (inc gst) service fee.