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Eshtiraak stakes Diamond claims at Sandown

Eshtiraak has added his name to the army of potential Lindsay Park runners in the Blue Diamond Stakes with a fighting win at Sandown.

The colt won the Yarramalong Racing Club Plate (1200m) on Wednesday to add to his easy six-length win at Pakenham on January 19.

Lindsay Park could now have as many as six starters in Melbourne’s premier two-year-old race at Caulfield on February 25.

Formality will press her claims in the Chairman’s Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday while Catchy, Wait For No One and Will’s Bid will run the following week in the Blue Diamond Preludes.

Tulip, second to Limestone in last week’s Blue Diamond Preview, has already confirmed her place in the $1.5 million Blue Diamond.

Lindsay Park co-trainer Tom Dabernig said he and fellow trainers David and Ben Hayes would finalise numbers after they see how their two-year-olds perform in coming weeks.

He said Eshtiraak was being geared towards the Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Flemington next month but a Group One race for two-year-olds was too good an opportunity to pass up.

“I think the timing of it is perfect,” Dabernig said.

“You need to have the two-year-olds fit for a seven furlong race and there’s a Group One on our doorstep along the way.

“We ran Zululand in the Blue Diamond and he came out and won the Sires’.

“Eshtiraak’s got a great constitution but we’ll see how he pulls up along the way.”

Dabernig said they would address some gear changes after Eshtiraak raced with his mouth open.

He said the winkers may have to come off the colt and a noseband added.

Damien Oliver, who rode the $1.80 favourite to a half-length win on Wednesday, said Eshtiraak would benefit from a bigger field and more pace.

He said the two-year-old was one of several possibilities he has for a Blue Diamond ride.

“I think it’s worth putting him in it. I think that type of race will suit him with a bit of pressure,” Oliver said.

“There’s some nice two-year-olds around but I don’t think there’s a stand-out at the moment.

“He’s a possibility for me and David’s got a few possibilities.

“I’m keen to keep sweet there.”

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