Equiano ready for Sprint challenge
EQUIANO is expected to feel the benefit of his July Cup outing when he lines up in Saturday's Ladbrokes Sprint Cup at Doncaster.
The three-year-old won the King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot when trained in Spain earlier in the season but subsequently transferred to the care of Barry Hills.
Equiano has had just one run since, finishing a creditable fourth behind Borderlescott at Newmarket, and connections are anticipating a bold show as he linesup in the rearranged event alongside stablemate Prime Defender.
"Equiano and Prime Defender will run in the Sprint Cup on Saturday, all being well, and they're both in good form," said Charlie Hills, son and assistant to the trainer.
"Equiano came out of the Nunthorpe well. It was a long gap from Royal Ascot to Newmarket and he will be sharper for that. The ground should be fine."
Equiano is a general 8-1 chance for the Sprint Cup while Prime Defender, who finished eighth in the July Cup, is a 50-1 outsider.
Dane O'Neill will get the leg up on the Henry Candy-trained Corrybrough with regular pilot Ryan Moore unavailable.
The Kyllachy colt had looked a potential superstar when winning his first three starts of the campaign and he was far from disgraced when chasing home Intrepid Jack at Newbury.
He was slightly disappointing when only fifth in a Listed race at Deauville last time but connections believe their charge is fighting fit ahead of his first Group 1 assignment.
"Dane O'Neill will ride Corrybrough as Ryan rides Assertive for Richard Hannon," said James Stafford, racing manager for the owners Thurloe Thoroughbreds.
"We are delighted to get Dane as he is riding out of his skin at the moment.
"Everything is fine with the horse and he did a good workout yesterday morning with his stablemate Oldjoesaid."