Estijaab scores sensational Golden Slipper success
Emirates Park-raced Estijaab scored a sensational victory in the $3,500,000 Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m), scorching from an outside barrier and leading all of the way to record a tremendously courageous long-head success.
Jumping from barrier 14 in a field of 16 horses, Estijaab showed exceptional speed to cross virtually all of her rivals and make the running in the breed shaping event. Never headed at any stage of the contest, the rapid filly established a winning advantage half-way down the straight and held on to win under a vigorous Brenton Avdulla ride.
Speaking after the win, Avdulla was full of praise of the outstanding filly.
“Just the gate speed she has got is unbelievable,” claimed Avdulla. “My first reaction when she drew 14 was I’ve got no hope, but then the more I looked at everything wanting to take a sit, I knew I could back her gate speed and ride her positive early. She could get across and control [the race]. That’s what she did.
“Everyone was sort of potting her after the other day because she didn’t win by far, but I rang John [Hawkes] last night and he said to me don’t worry mate, she is a five-length better horse than you rode the other day. Full credit goes to them [Team Hawkes], they’ve prepped her really well.”
Estijaab is the second Golden Slipper winner in very recent time to race in the colours of Emirates Park following Mossfun’s success in 2014. Both fillies were prepared for their memorable Group 1 victories by the pre-eminent Team Hawkes training partnership.
Speaking on behalf of the father and sons combination, Wayne Hawkes declared: “In the same colours as Mossfun — it’s pretty special!
“She drew the outside barrier and for Brenton to do what he did, he summed it up very well. The greatest shot [of the race] if you haven’t seen it is the overhead shot. It was amazing. To see how she jumped so clean and so easy. She just put two lengths on them straightaway. He didn’t roar across. He just took his time. It was a winning ride.”
Wayne Hawkes added: “Myself, personally, I thought drawn out might be the place to be. No it wasn’t, the fence was the place to be.
“I don’t know how many times you’ve heard us say it as a group that barrier draws cost you races. When you keep getting those bad barriers they certainly stuff you up. Fortunately she was able to overcome it today.”
A division of the Nasser Abdulla Lootah Group