By Geoff Newling
EQUIANO teed off a second time at Tamworth on Friday to give her Muswellbrook trainer a winning sendoff.
The Jeff Englebrecht-trained mare is owned and raced by a “Narrabri Golfers” syndicate.
It numbers 11 in all but there are plenty around now putting their hands up to be the 12th man.
She won her maiden at Gunnedah on December 1 and notched a second win in Friday’s Corey’s Catering Class 1 and Maiden Handicap (1600m) for her Narrabri owners – Carmel Condon, Bill Burrows, Dennis and Les Richardson, Owen Warren, Jim Pitman, Tony Meppem, Danny Hutchen, Paul Gleeson (syndicate manager), Garry Cuell and Peter Greenanway.
Most were trackside Friday and gathered a for a team shot with their trainer, who is in the process of relocating to Wyong.
“Some time this month,” Englebrecht said of his move.
He will take Equiano with him as he believes she has a future.
“There’s still plenty of upside to her, there’s a bit more left in the tank.”
Leanne Henry rode Equiano and gave the syndicate a glowing report of the mare.
“All she wanted to do was relax”.
Les Richardson was the instigator of the Equiano syndicate, ringing around fellow golfing mates to see if they were interested.
One of those was cricketer Tony Meppem, who is one of the coaches of the Central North Zone Under 14 side to play in the Kookaburra Cup in the Manning Valley from January 14.
Meppem and fellow cricketers Peter Greenaway and Jim Pitman believe racing and winning is far better than enduring the heat of a summer of cricket.
“Les rang me to see if I was interested,” Meppem said.
“I’ve always wanted to have a horse.”
So he and Richardson went to the Hunter Valley and bought Equiano despite a swollen knee from a mishap and the rest is history.
“We all had a good win too,” Meppem said.
“I got 9s, Gleeson got 10s and I think a few of them might have even got better.”
Having their trainer move to Wyong with Equiano is no problem either.
She could race in the Upper Hunter which might mean a drive of around three to four hours.
Which is no problem, Meppem and Jim Pitman said.