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Equal Love stars in a day for first-uppers

In a day dominated by ‘first-uppers’, Equal Love confirmed she is a mare going places with a determined win over high-quality opposition during Saturday’s strong nine-race card at Morphettville Parks.

Trained by Phillip Stokes, the four-year-old registered her fourth win from five runs on the Parks circuit, and her seventh from 13 overall. Ridden by Kayla Crowther, Equal Love sat outside the leader, then held off quality filly Li’l Kontra – which gained a rails passage – in the run to the line to win the 1000m race narrowly, but decisively. Grant Young’s consistent Star of Monsoon zoomed home to finish third, ahead of top weight Tequila Time.

Describing Equal Love as a “bulldog”, stable spokesperson Tommy Stokes told the Listed Oakbank Stakes – now to be run at Morphettville over Easter due to COVIT-19 changes – would be the next target, and that the daughter of Equiano would improve further at her next outing.

Another female with higher ambitions saluted at Morphettville Parks on Saturday in the form of three-year-old Intrigue.

The McEvoy stable runner claimed the maiden event on Saturday’s card, but is likely to be aimed at richer targets during the upcoming 2020 Autumn Racing Carnival.

Saturday’s program started with an impressive victory to Hypercane, which came from last to blow away the field of three-year-olds over 1250m. Having just its fourth start and being ridden by comeback queen Caitlin Jones, the Toronado gelding also looks to have plenty of upside for trainers Richard and Chantelle Jolly.

Other first-uppers to win on Saturday were Will Clarken’s Lace and Whiskey and the McEvoy stable’s promising Game Keeper.

The day finished with a determined win to grey gelding Sky Punch, who sat three wide in the 1400m event, but still proved too strong for his opposition.

Riding honours went to star apprentice Lachie Neindorf, who scored on Yule My Hero and Grand Crown, the latter after a superbly judged front-running ride.

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