January 20, 2018 - RANDWICK, Race 1, Mdn, AUD $1,000,000, 1000m, 57.2800, 2yo

Estijaab (Aus), f, 3, 2015 by Snitzel (Aus)

1st Dam: Response (Aus) (MG1SW-Aus, $807,781), by Charge Forward (Aus)
2nd Dam: Live It Up (Aus), by Match Winner (Fr)
3rd Dam: Relive (Aus), by King Hadrian (Aus)

Owner: Emirates Park
Breeder: Arrowfield Group Pty Ltd & Jungle Pocket Pty Ltd
Trainer: Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes

Estijaab (Aus) (Snitzel {Aus}) was a star at last year’s Inglis Easter Yearling Sale when selling for A$1.7-million, and the 2-year-old filly indicated on Saturday that she could transfer that star status to the racecourse, posting an eye-catching debut win at Randwick to earn the ‘TDN Rising Star’ badge. Sent of the A$3.40 favourite, Estijaab broke quickly on the far outside in the colours of Nasser Lootah’s Emirates Park. Jockey Brenton Avdulla got her over to the fence rounding the bend and the pair had a two-length advantage turning for home. Given a shake of the reins by Avdulla at the 200, Estijaab sprinted clear and was eased down on the line to win by four lengths from fellow firster Dio D’Oro (Aus) (Medaglia d’Oro), the longest shot in the field at A$21. Estijaab entered the 1000 metre race off a trial win at Rosehill on Jan. 8.

Estijaab was subsequently made the A$11 co-favourite for the Feb. 24 G1 Blue Diamond S., and was placed on the third line of betting for the Mar. 24 G1 Golden Slipper at A$13. Emirate’s Park’s Bryan Carlson and Hussain Lootah signed for Estijaab last April standing alongside Gai Waterhouse, but the filly has wound up in the stable of Team Hawkes. Should Estijaab progress to the Slipper, Team Hawkes and Emirates Park would be looking for their second Slipper together, having won the world’s richest 2-year-old race in 2014 with Mossfun (Aus) (Mossman {Aus}).

Co-trainer Michael Hawkes told Racing NSW after Saturday’s race, “I know she has a big price tag but she doesn’t know what she is yet. We’re just happy we have the score on the board right away. She’s a really nice filly. Since she’s stepped into our stable she’s very relaxed and had a good attitude and it really shone.�

Avdulla wasn’t shy in his praise of the filly, adding, “She’d be the best filly I’ve ridden and she’d be right up there with the leading contenders for sure. I’ve been waiting for her for a while to be honest. She is a speed filly so from the outside gate she jumped quickly and I rode her for speed.�

Estijaab is the second ‘TDN Rising Star’ out of the G1 Robert Sangster S. and G1 Sir Rupert Clarke S. winner Response (Aus) (Charge Forward {Aus}). The first was the mare’s first foal, the listed-placed Alter Call (Aus) (Fastnet Rock {Aus}) who raced in the colours of China Horse Club in partnership with Newgate SF after being bought for A$1.05-million at Magic Millions three years ago. Response’s fourth foal, a full-sister to Estijaab, was bought by Moody Racing for A$350,000 at the most recent renewal of the Gold Coast Yearling Sale, and the mare produced another full-sister last year. Response was herself a A$50,000 Easter yearling who was bought by SF Bloodstock for A$840,000 after her racing days at Inglis’s Australian Broodmare sale. She was bought by Katsumi Yoshida carrying Estijaab for A$1.5-million at Magic Millions’s National Broodmare Sale in 2015, and Estijaab was bred in partnership with Arrowfield Stud and consigned by Arrowfield at Easter.

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