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Equiano Wins UK Gr1 King's Stand Stakes
Australian visitors Nicconi finished 4th & Gold Trail 10th (in the field of 12) when French-bred 5YO entire Equiano (Acclamation-Entente Cordiale, by Ela-mana-mou) scored a front-running 1.5-lengths victory overnight in the £300,000 (A$519,000) Gr1 King's Stand Stakes (5 furlongs) on the opening day of the Royal Ascot carnival in England, to claim this race for the 2nd time in 3 years (he also won in 2008 when trained in Spain). Despite stumbling as he left the starting stalls, Equiano (ridden by Michael Hills for trainer Barry Hills) recovered quickly & duly defeated 7YO gelding Markab (Green Desert-Hawafiz, by Nashwan) & 8YO gelding Borderlescott (Compton Place-Jeewan, by Touching Wood). Last week Newsells Park announced it has bought into Equiano with a view to standing him at the Hertfordshire stud next year. Overall Equiano now boasts 7 wins (also including May's Gr3 Palace House Stakes over 5 furlongs at Newmarket & April's Listed Abernant Stakes over 6 furlongs at Newmarket, plus 2008's Gr1 King's Stands Stakes over 5 furlongs at Royal Ascot) & 7 placings (including last start's Gr2 Temple Stakes over 5 furlongs at Haydock on May 22, plus 2009's Listed Abernant Stakes over 6 furlongs at Newmarket, 2008's French Gr2 Prix du Gros-Chene over 1000m at Chantilly & 2007's French Gr2 Criterium De Maisons-Laffitte over 1200m) from 25 starts for £485,192 (A$839,000) earnings.