Horses To Follow » Equiano


Equiano continued his progress back up through the sprinting ranks with a really good run in the Group 3 King George Stakes at Goodwood on Thursday. Barry Hills’s colt stumbled on leaving the stalls, losing valuable momentum, which really isn’t what you want to be doing in a five-furlong race at Goodwood, where they go downhill for the first furlong and a half. He was always playing catch-up after that, but he did make nice ground on the outside to appear there with a chance a furlong and a half out. However, the effort expended in getting there took its toll, and he faded inside the final 50 yards. Even so, it was a fine run.
The winner Kingsgate Native looked really impressive on just his second run since returning from a truncated stud career, and the runner-up Total Gallery ran a huge race, despite not getting the run of it and having to thread his way through the field to finish second. He will be better when stepped back up to six furlongs as well. However, there is a chance that the first two, and the third Inxile, were at least slightly flattered by the visual impression of their performances. It looks like the near rail was the place to be, and it may not be a coincidence that the first three home were drawn in the three stalls that were closest to the stands rail. That may have been as much down to the frenetic pace that Rievaulx World and Jargelle set between them on the near rail as it was down to any ground advantage, but the fact remains that it was probably an advantage. Equiano raced down the centre of the track, so he can be marked up a fair bit even on the bare performance. His recent form figures (088) are not inspiring, but he ran a lot better in both the King’s Stand and the July Cup than his finishing position suggests, both times in blinkers, which were left off on Thursday. He is in the Group 3 Phoenix Sprint at The Curragh on 16th August, and he would be interesting if he came over for that. He could be under-rated.

30th July 2009