Perfect debut performance by Estijaab
2017 Australian Easter Yearling Sale recruit Estijaab made a perfect start to her racing career in the livery of Emirates Park when dominating a 2YO Plate (1000m) at Royal Randwick and going on to record an impressive four lengths winning debut.
A daughter of Snitzel and the dual Group 1 winning racemare Response purchased for $1.7 million, Estijaab went into the contest off a smart Rosehill barrier trial success at the beginning of the month and was sent to post the $3.40 favourite as a consequence.
Despite having to break from the outside barrier in a field of nine, the ultra-talented filly was always in command of the 1000m assignment, leading from the start before running out an emphatic winner.
Trained by Team Hawkes at Rosehill, stable spokesman Michael Hawkes observed after the win: "It's only her first start and it's just a Saturday two-year-old race, but when you've got a filly by a Group One winner out of a dual Group One winner, then the expectation is there."
Hawkes added: "Brenton [Avdulla] had to use her a bit at the start, so she's done it at both ends, which is a good sign. There is no set plan and we will take it one step at a time heading to the Slipper."
The equal fourth highest priced Lot sold at the 2017 Australian Easter Yearling Sale, Estijaab is the third foal of Response, an exceptional daughter of Charge Forward. The winner of four races at 1000-1600m, Response claimed both the SAJC Robert Sangster Stakes (G1) and MRC Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (G1) at the highest level of domestic competition during her very memorable racing career.
HOOFNOTE: Estijaab's brilliant debut victory was immediately followed by another hugely encouraging performance by Shumookh, the home-bred 3-year-old daughter of Dream Ahead (USA) and Shamekha.
An impressive Canterbury Park debut winner on January 10, the progressive filly finished a very creditable runner-up to D'Argento in Race 2 on the same program, attempting to make all of the running in the 1300m event but getting caught close to the winning post.
Both the winner D'Argento and runner-up Shumookh finished well clear of their opposition on the line and look outstanding prospects for the Sydney Autumn Carnival in the weeks ahead.
A division of the Nasser Abdulla Lootah Group