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Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Estijaab lands Golden Slipper to end testing week for Hawkes team on a high

Estijaab and Brenton Avdulla (green silks, centre) make all to win the Group 1 Golden Slipper at Rosehill
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Report: Australia, Saturday
Rosehill: 2018 Longines Golden Slipper (Group 1) 6f | turf | 2yo

It had looked like being a week of bitter disappointments for the Hawkes family, as first star sprinter Chautauqua refused to leave the stalls again in a trial on Monday, and then their big hope for the Golden Slipper, Estijaab, landed a wide draw.

But the filly ensured there were tears of joy in the winner's enclosure as she blasted out of the stalls under jockey Brenton Avdulla and was never headed in a performance mixing class and guts in equal measure.

"They all wrote her off," co-trainer Michael Hawkes told the Sydney Morning Herald. "I can’t believe it. It has just been a rollercoaster this week and it’s been a massive team effort."

Michael and his brother Wayne had felt the pressure of trying to win the world's richest juvenile race, which carries a purse of A$3.5 million (£1.9m) all week, but father, and Hall of Fame trainer John took events in his stride and added: "We knew the filly was good enough and she proved it. You just have to believe in your horse and we did that."

Brenton Avdulla returns to the winner's enclosure after winning the Golden Slipper on Estijaab

Also on Saturday

Rosehill: Sky Racing Rosehill Guineas (Group 1) 1m2f | turf | 3yo

It is not just Winx who can claim Group 1s for Chris Waller, as D'Argento struck in the Guineas for Hugh Bowman, who completed his own big-race double.

Waller was concerned the colt would struggle to see out the trip, but now has some pleasant dilemmas as to how to campaign the grey following a length and a quarter defeat of Tangled.

"I've got to reassess my thoughts, he obviously can stay and we’ll work out from a colt’s perspective where is his best value," Waller said. "Is it a Doncaster so he can show off that speed or do we go down the Derby path which is such a traditional race on the Australian calendar." 

Rosehill: Ranvet Stakes (Group 1) 1m2f | turf | 3yo+

A quick rematch between Gailo Chop and Single Gaze could be on the cards, with connections of both runners keen for a swift turnaround in next week's Tancred Stakes back at the track.

Gailo Chop (Darren Weir/Mark Zahra) came out on top in the Ranvet with a three-length success, and will now step up to 1m4f next weekend.

"I think we've got to have a crack. We're up here now, we'll push that way with him and see how he goes," said Weir's representative Jarrod McLean.

"I think he'll run the trip, there's no worries with the back-up."

Rosehill: The Galaxy (Group 1 Hcap) 5½f | turf | 3yo+

Zac Purton's decision to jet in from Hong Kong was rewarded as the jockey steered home In Her Time (Ben Smith).

Purton had been forced to settle for second in the Golden Slipper on Oohood, but went one better in the next race as the mare gained a first success at the highest level.

"If she was ever going to win a Group 1, she had everything in her favour today," Purton said.

"The conditions were right, her feet have been good, she's been trialling well. She was nice and fresh, so it was good to see her go and do what she has done."

Rosehill results

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We knew the filly was good enough and she proved it. You just have to believe in your horse and we did that
E.W. Terms
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