Speedy two year-old Domanus became the first Australian-bred winner by Swettenham Stud shuttler Equiano (Fr) on Saturday.
The Garry Portelli trained colt crossed from an outside barrier to sit outside the leader until the home turn of the Castle Personnel Maiden (900m) at Newcastle. He sprinted clear of Valyrian Steel (Redoute’s Choice) at the top of the straight and then dug deep to hold a narrow margin over Miss Ellie Grace (Denman).
“He’s a colt with a fair bit of ability,’’ Portelli said. “I’m sure he will be a better horse next campaign but he has good natural pace and can gallop.”
Domanus (2c Equiano – Dangerous Seam by Straight Strike) is part owned by Erinvale Thoroughbreds owners John & Crystle Kenneally. The Geelong couple kept a share after selling him for $50,000 at the 2014 Melbourne Premier yearling sale.
At the 2015 Inglis Premier earlier this month, Equiano had 11 of his 12 second-crop yearlings find new homes for up to $120,000. Top of the dial was the colt from Scenic stakes performer The Gem sold to Adelaide trainer Richard Jolly.
Equiano sired 16 individual first-crop winners in Europe last year and that will multiply when they return as new-season three year-olds. The Swettenham shuttler won the first of two G1 King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot as a three year-old in 2008.