One of the earliest articles posted on this website was a review of the Newsells Park Stud stallion Equiano, the dual Group 1-winning sprinter whose first crop two crops had yielded several stakes winners, including the Group 1-placed Strath Burn and promising speedster The Tin Man, the latter a smart handicapper who rounded off his three-year-old campaign by finishing fourth in the Group 1 Qipco British Champions Sprint at Ascot.
The conclusion was that it was only a matter of time before this promising young sire got his first Group 1 winner, and, thanks to The Tin Man, that time was Saturday afternoon.
A member of his sire's first crop, the James Fanshawe bay kicked off his current campaign with listed success over six furlongs at Windsor in late May, and although he disappointed when only eighth in the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot the following month, he has bounced back from that in style.
He narrowly beat Divine in the Group 3 Hackwood Stakes at Newbury, chased home Quiet Reflection in the Group 1 Sprint Cup at Haydock, and then showed a clean pair of heels to his dozen rivals in the Group 1 Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes at Ascot.
The gelding is an exciting prospect for 2017, and if he can stay happy, healthy and sound, he could become one of those popular horses who complete in the best races for several years. Winning at four, five and older is something that his family tends to do.
Equiano's overall tally of 11 individual stakes winners includes the US Grade 3 scorers Baciami Piccola and Belvoir Bay, the Australian Group 3 winner Sewar – all of whom have been in action in 2016 – and, of course, the high-class juvenile Medicine Jack, who won the Group 2 Railway Stakes at the Curragh in June before finishing third to Caravaggio in the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes at the same venue.
His prior runners of note include the pattern-winning juveniles Dark Reckoning and Fly On The Night, and two-year-old listed scorer Waipu Cove, and the aforementioned Group 1-placed sprint pattern winner Strath Burn is going to Bridge House Stud for 2017, thereby giving him his first stallion son.
The Tin Man was bred by Elizabeth Grundy and he is an 80,000gns graduate of Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale. His Poet's Voice (by Dubawi) half-brother is catalogued as Lot 765 for the upcoming Tattersalls December Foal Sale and so his victory on Saturday will be among the biggest updates in that book.
His dam, Persario (by Bishop Of Cashel) won a seven-furlong maiden at three and got her second score with a six-furlong handicap success at Kempton at the age of five. She was also trained by Fanshawe and so too was her other top-class son Deacon Blues (by Compton Place).
He won on the second of his two starts as a juvenile and picked up a Yarmouth handicap at three, but at the age of four and following a seasonal reappearance when he was a neck runner-up over six furlongs at Ascot, the gelding went unbeaten for the rest of that campaign, culminating in an impressive length and a half defeat of Wizz Kid in the Group 2 Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes.
Getting two winners of that race is a notable achievement for Persario, and her other three runners are the stakes-placed multiple sprint handicapper Holley Shiftwell (by Bahamian Bounty), four-times scorer If So (by Iffraaj), and current juvenile Hilario (by Sepoy), a twice-raced Charles Hills-trained colt who got off the mark over six furlongs at Kempton last month.
Deacon Blues's tally in 2011 also included the Wokingham at Royal Ascot, the Group 3 Hackwood Stakes at Newbury and the Group 3 Phoenix Sprint Stakes at the Curragh – all over six furlongs – plus the Group 3 Dubai International World Trophy over the minimum trip at Newbury.
His official rating was 120, but Timeform placed him on a figure of 130, making him one of the best European sprinters of recent years and giving his younger sibling quite a target to chase.
Persario is one of four winners from six foals out of dual scorer Barford Lady (by Stanford) and they include two performers of note. Her full-brother Heretic did not earn any blacktype, but this capable miler won at two, three, four, five and six years of age, reaching a peak handicap mark of 110.
Their half-brother Warningford (by Warning), who could be described as being their three-parts brother, notched up 10 wins from three to eight years of age. Those included three editions of the Group 3 Leicestershire Stakes, two renewals of the Listed John of Gaunt Stakes, plus one running of the Listed Dubai Duty Free Cup.
Warningford was only beaten a neck by Medicean in the Group 1 Lockinge Stakes, he was third to Mount Abu in the Group 1 Prix de la Foret, and fourth (no blacktype) to Slickly in the Group 1 Prix du Moulin de Longchamp, he achieved a peak handicap mark of 116 and, at the age of seven, was rated 119 by Timeform.
Barford Lady was among six winners from 10 foals out of the stakes-placed triple scorer Grace Poole (by Sallust) and the best of those was Ansellman (by Absalom), who won the Listed Doncaster Stakes over five furlongs as a juvenile and got the final of his 11 wins, from 128 starts, at the age of 10.
Last year The Tin Man was Timeform-rated 120, and for his Group 1 success that organisation raised his figure to 126. He is a fine advertisement for his sire and unlikely to remain Equiano's only top-level winner for long.