Tables turned for Equiano

Equiano has now experienced both sides of a tight finish to the Connaught Access Flooring Abernant Stakes but this year the luck was on his side at Newmarket.

Equiano has now experienced both sides of a tight finish to the Connaught Access Flooring Abernant Stakes but this year the luck was on his side at Newmarket.

Last season the sprinter was touched off by Tax Free in the Listed event but the line came to his aid this time around as he thwarted the lunging finish of Mullionmileanhour.

It was the first time Equiano (11-4 favourite) had won since taking the 2008 King's Stand at Royal Ascot, when trained in Spain, and his current handler Barry Hills is likely to aim him for the same race again.

Hills' son Michael had his own way in front for much of proceedings although Mullionmileanhour, outpaced in the early stages, summoned a powerful finish and was beaten just a short head.

Hills senior said: "I did actually think he had got up, but in another stride the other horse would have got him.

"He's very good when you catch him right but he is quirky. I think he's better over five furlongs.

"The King's Stand is the main race really, but there's one at Chantilly that the owner would be keen to go to."

Mullionmileanhour's trainer John Best reflected: "Everyone came up to tell me we had won! It is disappointing to lose but he has run very well.

"He is quite delicate but if he's OK he will go for the Duke Of York Stakes then hopefully the Golden Jubilee."

Sri Putra (11-2) hit the heights of a Deauville Group Two last summer and conditions came just right for him in a muddling Weatherbys Bloodstock Services Earl Of Sefton Stakes.

Trainer Michael Jarvis may be planning further overseas forays for the five-year-old, who raced with one other companion on the far side of the track and was helped by Neil Callan to repel the wavering challenge of Henry Cecil's Tranquil Tiger.

Jarvis said: "This is his track and he is a genuine Group horse over 10 furlongs on fast ground.

"I'm not quite sure where we'll go next. There is the option of Singapore although he'll have to be invited and I'll have to talk to the owners."

Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to Tranquil Tiger's owner Khalid Abdullah, said: "He's run another decent race. He's beaten the John Dunlop horse (Palavicini) but then been caught on the far side.

"I imagine it will be more of the same."

The market spoke in the Rossdales Maiden Fillies' Stakes despite Sir Michael Stoute's 9-4 favourite Eldalil having to work hard to hold off Dance East.

Angus Gold, racing manager for owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, said: "She has won over seven, so there is a long way from there to the Oaks, but Richard Hills says if she stays, she will be a very nice filly."

Cecil opened his account for the Craven meeting in the NGK Spark Plugs Coachmakers Wood Ditton Stakes but was keen not to talk up Diescentric (4-1 joint-favourite) despite a likeable performance.

"He's not blowing very much and he might get further so hopefully he'll win something else this season," said the master of Warren Place.

"We won't fly too high as these maidens are difficult to assess and a lot looked like they needed the race."

Richard Hannon enjoyed yet another two-year-old winner through Penny's Pearl (4-1), who stayed out of trouble in the EBF Maiden Fillies' Stakes to come home clear.

"We got her from the Goffs breeze-up, so we have only had her four weeks," said Hannon.

"We were going to leave her for a while but she worked very nicely last week. She is very well balanced and will definitely win again.

"She would probably go for a fillies' novice now."

Wigmore Hall (10-1) turned the Book For The Irish Classics At Handicap into a procession for Michael Bell and Jamie Spencer, who never moved a muscle as his mount came home in a common canter.

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