Swettenham Stud shuttler Equiano (Fr) stepped up his sizzling start to the year in Europe with another two juvenile winners on Friday.
First starter Harvard Man was too sharp for a Newbury nursery and his other newcomer Blue Moon saluted at Dundalk’s evening meeting.
Harvard Man (2c Equiano – Fabulously Fast by Deputy Minister) showed plenty of dash to land the Al Basti Equiworld Stakes (1000m). His acceleration was a decisive factor and there was enough left in reserve to defeat The Queen’s filly Ring Of Truth.
“I think this fellow will go places,” trainer Brian Meehan said. “All spring he has shown to be a really nice colt. I took him to Kempton for a school three or four weeks ago and he was very impressive.”
Meehan prepares the colt for successful USA property developer and philanthropist Earle Mack. A 120,000gns (AUD 230,515) graduate of the 2014 Tattersalls October yearling sale, he is from Group 1 Saratoga Test Stakes winner Fabulously Fast.
“He just took off when asked today and showed a really nice turn of foot,” Meehan added. “I think he will be better over six furlongs and will have one more run before going to Royal Ascot.”
Equiano colt Tribesman also has a Royal Ascot assignment in the G2 Coventry Stakes. He opened the juvenile season with a brilliant debut victory in the Scottish Brocklesby Stakes on Good Friday.
In Ireland, Blood Moon surged to the front at the furlong and held on gamely to defeat Coolmore Stud colt Washington D C (Zoffany) in the Irish Stallion Farms Maiden (1000m). “He’s hardy and has plenty of speed,” trainer Ger Lyons admitted. “It took a while for the penny to drop and Gary (Carroll) said he was pulling up in front.”
Blood Moon (2g Equiano – First Eclipse by Fayruz) was a 28,000 pounds (AUD 49,840) buy for owner Sean Jones at the 2014 Doncaster Bloodstock yearling sale. He’s a younger half-brother to minor winners by Pastoral Pursuits and Amadeus Wolf.
Equiano weighed in with a third winner overnight when his first-crop colt Desert Force claimed the Full Of Surprises Hcp (1400m) at Newbury. Bouncing straight to the front from the stalls, he had enough in the locker to repel the late burst of Godolphin colt Strong Chemistry (Oasis Dream).
The Richard Hannon trained youngster had won his maiden at Newbury in September before going for a winter spell. “He was a lovely yearling but we had a few problems with him last year,” Hannon explained. “He’s a big horse and has matured – he could be one for the Britannia Stakes at Royal Ascot.”
Desert Force (3c Equiano – Mail The Desert by Desert Prince) cost Dubai based owner Malih Lahej Al Basti 140,000 guineas (AUD 250,480) at the 2013 Tattersalls October Sale. His dam Mail The Desert was a Group 1 winner of the 2002 Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh.
Swettenham Stud has four of the five Equiano yearlings on offer at the VOBIS Gold yearling sale starting on Sunday. Lauriston Thoroughbreds also has a half-brother to recent Ballarat maiden winner Rock Of Glory (Lot 342).
Equiano colt (right) wins on debut at Newbury