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High priced yearling Estijaab has shot to the top of the betting for the Group 1 $1.5m Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) following her runaway debut win at Randwick last Saturday.

Expensive yearling purchase Estijaab, above, is the new favourite for the Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes at Caulfield. Photo by Steve Hart.

Expensive yearling purchase Estijaab, above, is the new favourite for the Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes at Caulfield. Photo by Steve Hart.

The Team Hawkes trained Estijaab was a $1.7 million purchase at the 2017 Australian Easter Yearling Sales and is now the $11 favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au for the Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes which will be run at Caulfield on February 24.

Esitjaab showed scintillating gate speed from the outside barrier in the nine horse Australian Fire Hose Plate field for the two year olds and Brenton Avdulla had her travelling comfortably in the lead at the half way mark of the 1000m sprint.

The expensive Snitzell filly led the field into the straight and once they topped the rise, Avdulla extended $3.40 favourite who went on to record a four lengths over the $21 outsider Dio D’Oro with Tell No Tales ($17) in third spot.

“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,” co-trainer Michael Hawkes said.

“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.”

Hawkes indicated that Estijaab will also be set for the Group 1 $3.5m Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on March 24 and the brilliant filly is also now high up in the market order at $13 behind the joint favourites Performer and Sunlight at $7.

The Chris Waller trained Performer is also the winner of his only race start in the Listed $150,000 Arrowfield Breeders’ Plate (1000m) at Randwick in September while Sunlight hit the headlines with her dominant win in the $2m Magic Millions 2yo Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast on January 13.

Early betting for the 2018 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $11 Estijaab,$15 Performer, Pure Elation, $17 Ranier, $21 Fiesta, Futooh, Invincible Lad, Long Leaf, Neutrality, Ollivander, Oohood, Seabrook, $26 Al Naifa, Dynamited, Enbihaar, Encryption, High Ratio, Lake District Girl, Qafila, Run Naan, Satin Slipper, $34 or better the rest.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.

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