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Sprint Cup switch suits Equiano camp

EQUIANO will be more at home now that the Ladbrokes Sprint Cup is being run at Doncaster rather than Haydock, according to connections.

The Spanish import is bidding for a second Group 1 success after winning the King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot in June.

However, that race was over the minimum distance while there is an extra furlong to Saturday's speed test.

He finished fourth to Borderlescott in the rearranged Nunthorpe Stakes at Newmarket last month, also over 5f, on his first run since joining the Barry Hills team.

"I just think they took him off his feet at Newmarket," said Hills' son and assistant, Charlie.

"They went flat out and he never travelled and didn't get any confidence. He stayed on up the hill to finish fourth.

"I know he won a Group 1 over five furlongs but I think six would really suit him down to the ground. There's a good bit of stamina on the dam's side as well.

"He's avery laid-back horse. I think the switch from Haydock will probably come into his favour."                    

The connections of Utmost Respect believe their colt is in top shape as he bids to get off the mark at the highest level.

A winner of the Group 3 Chipchase Stakes at Newcastle on his penultimate start, the four-year-old was far from disgraced when fourth behind Marchand D'Or in the Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville last time.

"Utmost Respect is in good form and the extra week from Haydock has not bothered him," said Robin O'Ryan, assistant to trainer Richard Fahey.

"He remains very well and we couldn't be happier with him at the moment.

"He hasn't done a lot during the last week really - we have just kept him ticking over.

"It is well known he likes soft ground and obviously the softer it is, the better his chance."

Fahey is also represented by likely outsider Knot In Wood and O'Ryan has warned it would be folly to write off his chances.

"Knot In Wood hasa bit to find but he is entitled to take his chance," added O'Ryan.

"He'll love the ground and I certainly wouldn't completely overlook him."

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