Equality too good for Charge rivals

Equality produced a career-best performance to run out an easy winner of the Coral Charge at Sandown.

The Charlie Hills-trained five-year-old had won a handicap at Windsor in clear-cut fashion on his last outing but this was a first success at Group Three level.

Handy throughout under William Buick, he was given a lead into the race by Diligent Harry.

Existent had ploughed a lone furrow on the near side rail with Jim Crowley exploring the possibility of better ground following some heavy rain, and with two furlongs to run he was still in contention.

That was just at the point Buick asked his mount to put the race to bed, though, and he sprinted clear.

Ed Walker’s filly Makarova added some more valuable black type, beaten a length and a half in second, while Tiber Flow claimed third. The favourite Marshman faced an uphill battle following a slow start.

Hills said: “He is a horse in form, obviously. I was delighted with his win at Windsor last time. It has always been the plan to come here since then.

“He had a nice draw and pinged the gates. Normally he can be a little slow from the gates, it probably wasn’t the ideal plan to be in front, but he didn’t seem to get taken on too much and that did suit him, I would have thought.

“He travelled very well and he’s a good sprinter. He’s a horse that I’ve always really liked – it has just take a while to get to here.

“I hope he can build on it. He has won by taking a lead before, so I think he can be ridden any way, really.

“I will certainly look at the King George at Goodwood next time, but that little bit of rain, probably two millimetres, probably helped as well.

“I would be afraid of very fast ground, unlike his father, Equiano, who loved it like a road. It’s strange, but William has always said he likes to get his toe in.”

He added: “The King George has always been a lucky race for me in the past, so I think that’s where we go with this fella.

“I’ve always thought he was a horse who would be a Group performer, but it has taken a while to get to where we are. Just looking at some of the family, it is just a slow-maturing family.”

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