Zoustar's Sunlight Runs Down Estijaab in a Thriller

In what may well have been a preview of the Golden Slipper, the top-class fillies Sunlight and Estijaab staged a two-horse war in Saturday's $250,000 Group II Silver Slipper Stakes at Rosehill Gardens.

On the line it was the Zoustar filly Sunlight who made it four wins on the trot when finishing the best to edge a game Estijaab (Snitzel) by a neck with Gongs (Dawn Approach) six and three-quarter lengths back in third. (photo Magic Millions - Lisa Grimm). 

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The complexation of the race changed when Brenton Avdulla took hold of the pacesetting Estijaab, which had Neutrality over-racing forcing Blake Shinn to let the son of Sebring take on Estijaab for the lead.

Meanwhile, Tim Clark was smoking his pipe in third place on Sunlight.

When Estijaab turned back the challenge of Neutrality, Clark made his move on Sunlight.

The Magic Millions 2yo Classic heroine loomed alongside Estijaab who was not going down without a fight.

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"That was incredible wasn't it," McEvoy's assistant trainer, son Calvin said.

"I think we learned something new about her today when those other two (Estijaab and Neutrality) decided to go out in front.

"Tim just asked her to come back and she did, she just raced like a true professional.

"She's going to have another run into the Slipper but she's such a good doing filly and that was all class there.

"She was forward enough, we knew she would run well but we know there's further improvement.

"If she comes through this well she'll run in the Magic Night, a week out from the Slipper.

"Follow the same path we did into the Magic Millions, she's effective of the seven-day back-up and see how we go."

A $300,000 Magic Millions purchase from the Widden Stud draft for Aquis/McEvoy Mitchell Racing/Blue Sky Bloodstock, Sunlight advances her overall record to 4 wins and 1 third from 5 starts with earnings of $1,441,450.

Bred by Widden Stud in partnership, Sunlight is a half-sister to Group III placed Sheikha and is the third winner from former speedy filly Solar Charged, winner of the Group III ATC Kindergarten Stakes at her second start.

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News from Breednet, Images from Magic Millions/Lisa Grim