Estijaab drama follows another Winx waltz

5 min read

By Bren O'Brien

While superstar Winx (Street Cry {Ire}) and her heir apparent The Autumn Sun (Redoute's Choice) trialed without incident on Tuesday morning at Rosehill, the same couldn't be said for returning G1 Golden Slipper S. winner Estijaab (Snitzel).

Estijaab was making her return to the trials after having a wind operation in the spring, with bold autumn ambitions for the star filly.

However, she dumped jockey Brenton Avdulla about 20m after the start of Trial 14 with the filly eventually recovered by an attendant having dashed clear of the field and continued on.

Avdulla required medical treatment, complaining of pain in his left wrist and hip and was stood down from riding in the remainder of the trials. He will also miss Wednesday's meeting at Gosford.

What it means for Estijaab is unclear, but it wouldn’t have been the way that John, Wayne and Michael Hawkes would have liked to see her perform having not raced following her Golden Slipper success.

All well with Winx

Winx had been the headline act before that incident, working home nicely to finish third in the first trial of the morning, 0.7 off a length off the winner Spright (Hinchinbrook) over the 1000m.

Jockey Hugh Bowman said with her return to the track nearing, he had asked the champion mare, a winner of 29 consecutive races, to race a little closer to the speed than she did in her first trial two weeks ago.

"She jumped well and I made her be a bit closer to make her concentrate." - Hugh Bowman

"She jumped well and I made her be a bit closer to make her concentrate, with her maturity she's got a bit too relaxed for her own good, for want of a better word, in her trials," Bowman said.

"I just made sure she concentrated a bit more and she responded well."

"She wouldn't have blown a candle out this morning as opposed to her last trial where she had a good puff."

"Her fitness has taken a progression since that first trial, she's moving as good as ever.

"She wouldn't have blown a candle out this morning as opposed to her last trial where she had a good puff." - Hugh Bowman

There was nothing in the trial to concern trainer Chris Waller, with all on track for a racetrack return on February 16 in the G2 Apollo S. at Randwick

"I was very happy with her trial and it's no surprise to hear Hugh so happy with her," Waller said.

"Her morning workouts, like today, she's very relaxed. It was perfect from my eyes and it's nice to hear she felt well."

Autumn starts brightly

Bowman then jumped aboard The Autumn Sun, who was making his first public appearance since an emphatic success in the G1 Caulfield Guineas in the spring.

The 3-year-old was given a very soft time of it, finishing seventh, beaten 5.4 lengths having raced without cover early in the trial.

That trial was 0.65s faster than Winx's trial and was won by Peter and Paul Snowden's Tchaikovsky (Redoute's Choice) over Sandbar (Snitzel), while one of Waller's other star 3-year-olds, Lean Mean Machine (Zoustar) finished fourth and looks to have progressed from his trial two weeks' ago.

The Autumn Sun, a winner of five of his six starts, is not expected to resume until February 23 in the G2 Hobartville S. at Rosehill.

Brutal tough on return

Unbeaten 3-year-old Brutal's(NZ) (O'Reilly {NZ}) first trial of his campaign saw him score a narrow win in Heat 13.

The colt travelled outside the speed and fought off Team Hawkes' stablemate God Of Thunder (More Than Ready {USA}) over the final 100m to score a narrow win.

Brutal won three from three during the spring, backing up his five-length win on debut at Caulfield, with subsequent stakes successes at both Moonee Valley and Flemington.

Godolphin's Athiri dominant

In the highlight of the 2-year-old trials. Godolphin filly Athiri's (Lonhro) first appearance off a debut win in December over subsequent winner Accession (Brazen Beau) saw her power to victory in the second fillies' trial of the morning.

Sat just behind the early leader Classic Gown (Fastnet Rock), Athiri finished powerfully to win by 2.25l.

Peter and Paul Snowden's Cosmic Force, who was Deep Field's first-ever winner back in November, also impressed in his trial, finishing over the top of tearaway leader Amore Amore (Champions Gallery {GB}) to win by 1.3 lengths

Gerald Ryan's Villami (Foxwedge) comfortably won the opening 2-year-old trial, prevailing under a hold in her first public appearance. A $425,000 buy, she is out of Group winner Galapagos Girl (Dehere {USA}).

Ryan also tasted success when She's Bionic (Sepoy) held off her rivals to win the third fillies trial in a time of 55.47s, the slowest of the morning for the 2-year-olds.

Out of stakes winner Gai's Choice (General Nediym), making her a half-sister to Listed winner I Like It Easy (Pierro), she was bred and is raced by the Vieira family.

Inglis Ready 2 Race graduate Dawn Too Good recorded the fastest time of the 2-year-olds on the morning. Recording a time of 54.07s, he looks another progressive son of Darley stallion Dawn Approach {Ire}), for trainer Gary Moore.

Following up from the impressive debut of Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott's Dawn Passage on Saturday, Dawn Too Good, a $180,000 buy back in October's sale, finished strongly and held out Autocratic (Wandjina) over the 900m.