Esteban stretches his record to Rosehill

A late-season surge of form by Esteban has trainer John Sargent revising plans for the well-bred gelding.

By the now-retired champion Encosta De Lago, the three-year-old’s mother is a daughter of dual Group One winner Champagne, which was runner-up in the 1998 Melbourne Cup.

It seems Esteban has inherited her staying prowess, putting together three consecutive wins over 2000m, including Saturday’s Schweppes Handicap at Rosehill.

As impressive as those wins are, the margins are even more so, with the gelding winning those three races by a combined 21 lengths.

“It’s all in the blood and it’s coming out now,” Sargent said.

“We’ll have to have a good look at what we do with him now.

“His mother is a daughter of Champagne. We got him at a ready-to-run sale in New Zealand and Champagne’s owner, Bob Emery, has stayed in him with a share.”

Sent out the $4.60 favourite on the back of his past two wins on Newcastle’s Beaumont course, Esteban took the lead as soon as Rory Hutchings could get him there and relaxed in front.

The further he went, the more he stretched out and his winning margin over Rocky My Lady was 6-3/4 lengths.

“I think he must like being on his own,” Sargent said.

“He doesn’t want any other horses around him.

“He won well up at Newcastle but to win by that margin again shows he has something.”

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