Lindsay Park co-trainer David Hayes believes Eshtiraak has the right form to take on the Sydney two year olds in the Group 1 $500,000 Moet & Chandon Champagne Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Eshtiraak has raced six times for four wins on Victorian tracks and Hayes is tipping the Street Cry colt to be very competitive at Group 1 level with some solid form behind him, but also has some obstacles to overcome.
“He’s a horse that has got terrific form. Racing on the Sydney leg for the first time, racing on wet ground for the first time,” Hayes said.
“Has had a really good preparation. He got beaten at Flemington by the track bias, bounced back at Mornington and the form is pretty good.”
“We think he is going to be very competitive in the Group 1.”
Eshtiraak completed a hat trick of wins with his victory in a 1300m two year old Handicap at Sandown on February 22 before running sixth to Sircconi in the Group 2 $200,000 Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on March 11.
Eshtiraak then bounced back for the Lindsay Park Team of David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig to win the $100,000 Martin Collins Fibretrack Sires (1500m) at Mornington on March 25.
Damien Oliver replaces Dwayne Dunn on Eshtiraak who will jump from barrier seven in the ten horse Champagne Stakes field.
Betting for the Champagne Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au has Eshtiraak marked at $11 while the Peter and Paul Snowden trained Invader dominates the market order at $1.85.
Invader has earned his spot at the top of the betting with a last start win in the Group 1 $1m Inglis Sires’ (1400m) at Randwick on April 1.
The James Cummings trained Whispered Secret is on the second line of betting at $5 ahead of The Mission at $9 and One More Honey who is also an $11 chance.