31 August 2023

Curragh contest awaits for Equality after Nunthorpe run

31 August 2023

Equality is headed to the Curragh after holding his own when finishing sixth in the Nunthorpe at York.

The five-year-old, who is trained by Charlie Hills, was a 50-1 shot on his first attempt at Group One level and was far from outranked when beaten just over three lengths.

The Al Basti Equiworld, Dubai Flying Five Stakes on September 10 is now the aim as the bay has proved himself to be at home alongside the top sprinters over five furlongs.

Sam Hoskins, racing manager for owners Kennet Valley Thoroughbreds, said: “We were delighted with him, he ran a great race for sixth. He was probably just on the wrong side of the draw and not near enough to the pace on the far side, but he hit the line really strong and Danny Muscutt was very complimentary about him.

“The one thing it did prove is that he was up to the Group One level, so hopefully he can take the syndicate to more Group One races going forwards.

“I don’t think there’s that much between them at that level over five furlongs at the moment.

“The plan is to go to the Flying Five at the Curragh next time and that might not be totally dissimilar to the test he faced at Sandown when he won the Coral Charge.

“A stiff five furlongs might just suit him well and if he gets a better draw there, then he should have an each-way squeak.”

Hills had a sprint winner at the meeting in Equilateral, who took the Sky Bet And Symphony Group Handicap aged eight to prove the trainer’s ability to keep seasoned sprinters sweet.

Hoskins said: “Charlie showed earlier in the with Equilateral that he can keep those sprinters going on for a while.

“Hopefully there’s lots more fun to come for us, he’ll stay with us forever and it’d be great to think that we could dream of winning a Group One one day.”

Runaway York winner Dragon Leader has another valuable sales race waiting for him after his taking victory in the Goffs UK Harry Beeby Premier Yearling Stakes at the Ebor meeting – his third win from three runs.

The Clive Cox-trained son of El Kabeir has the Weatherbys Scientific £300,000 2-Y-O Stakes at Doncaster in his sights now, a race in which he will carry a light weight as the concept of the contest is to assign runners a burden that corresponds to the median price of their respective sires’ yearlings sold at auction in 2022.

“It was thrilling, absolutely thrilling,” Hoskins said of the success.

“He’s been coming along nicely and won those two races early on, but that was amazing last week.

“There were lots of syndicate members up there and they were over the moon, it’s what we dream of.

You'd hope he'd have a strong chance in a good field, then we can just see how we get on in that and decide what's happening in the future

“Our syndicate was set up in the late 1980s to try to win the Cartier Million sales race, so it’s kind of a full circle to win a big sales race – that was absolutely brilliant.

“The plan is to go for the big Weatherbys Scientific two-year-old sales race at Doncaster, because he’s by El Kabeir he’s got quite a low median price so he’s actually got bottom weight in the race which is really exciting.

“You’d hope he’d have a strong chance in a good field, then we can just see how we get on in that and decide what’s happening in the future.”

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