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A Look Back at Equiano’s Historical Royal Ascot Success – Olive Press News Spain


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History was made at Royal Ascot in 2008 when Equiano became the first Spain-trained runner to prevail at the prestigious meeting in the UK. He was successful in the feature race on the opening day of the meeting – the Group One King’s Stand Stakes.

Having a runner at Royal Ascot is every jockey, trainer, and owner’s dream in Flat racing around the world. Connections of Equiano went into the race with hope rather than expectation, and their horse delivered a huge performance to land the first prize.

Spanish Sprinter Was One of the Outsiders in the Race

The King’s Stand Stakes, now known as the King Charles III Stakes, is the most prestigious 5f sprint contest at Royal Ascot. It always attracts the best sprinters from around the world, including this year, as Breeders’ Cup winner Big Evs is the +300 favorite in the Ascot 2024 odds for the latest renewal.

As the Royal Ascot betting tips show, with Australian sprinter Asfoora fancied to run well this year, there is now a strong international presence in the sprint races at the meeting. Equinao was one of the first horses from outside of the UK and Ireland to prevail, and that has encouraged others to now take their chance.

Under the hands of French rider Olivier Peslier, the Spanish-based horse was the fastest out of the starting stalls in the 2008 King’s Stand Stakes. The three-year-old raced towards the stand side and he never surrendered his lead, eventually scoring by just under a length.

Trained by Mauricio Delcher Sanchez in Madrid, Equiano jumped towards the top end of the ratings in the sprint division with his success. It earned him a move to Barry Hill’s stable in the UK, with subsequent runs coming in the Nunthorpe Stakes (York) and Prix de l’Abbaye (Longchamp) later that season.

Second Success in King’s Stand Stakes in 2010

Although he was no longer based in Spain at the time, Equiano made history in 2010 by becoming one of only 10 horses at the time to win the King’s Stand Stakes more than once. He regained his crown by scoring by just under two lengths.

Unlike his first success, Equiano stumbled out of the stalls on this occasion to get off to a slow start. In the final three furlongs, he hit top speed to beat a quality field that included Kingsgate Native and Australian sprinter Nicconi.

Equiano retired at the end of his five-year-old campaign, and Hills commented at the time that he was one of the fastest horses he had ever trained. After retiring from the track, he became a breeding stallion. The dual King’s Stand Stakes winner has produced some excellent offspring since then, including Diamond Jubilee Stakes winner The Tin Man, Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint winner Belvoir Bay, and Hackwood Stakes winner Strath Burn.

Racing fans in Spain will be keeping a close eye on Royal Ascot in 2024 to see if a new star emerges from the meeting, just like Equiano did 16 years ago.

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