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Rosehill racing: Esteban turns into find of Sydney winter with Schweppes Handicap win

Rosehill racing: Esteban turns into find of Sydney winter with Schweppes Handicap win

It was a couple of months ago connections wondered where it was all going wrong with Esteban. And if they could ever turn it around.

"We seriously couldn't understand why he was going as bad as he was," Segenhoe Stud's racing manager Bill Mitchell said. "But he's got him going Sarge [trainer John Sargent], that's for sure."

And how. The staying find of the Sydney winter toyed with his rivals at Rosehill. Again.

He has racked up a a combined winning margin of 26 lengths over the sequence. Saturday's four-and-a-quarter lengths stroll was the closest they've come to him during the streak. Realistically it was his most impressive performance.

"I'm a bit flabbergasted how he's got to this distance and put the blinkers and become a new horse," Mitchell said. "I would be happy if he won by a length, but he just keeps on winning [by big spaces]."

Sargent, whose reputation has been forged on flicking the switch on emerging stayers once they get over ground, probably couldn't even imagine his three-year-old would be here now. But the spring? Just don't get too excited.

"That's exciting again there," Sargent said. "It's not top company yet, but he's going through the grades great and you can't ask for more than that. I wouldn't go to the spring and there might be one more run if we can see something in the next few weeks. We can give him a good break and then into the autumn in Sydney and then maybe Melbourne next year."

Rory Hutchings, Sydney's newly minted champion apprentice who got a favourable comparison to Hugh Bowman from Sargent during the week, didn't need any of his silky touch to get the job done on Esteban this time.

He ambled to be on speed and didn't even have to release the throttlehold as Esteban walked home from Magical Stance with Lie Direct one-and-three-quarter lengths back in third.

But is Esteban too brilliant for 2400 metres? Sargent doesn't think so.

"I would think that would be even more [in his favour]," he said. "He can bowl along at good sectionals and make it more of a staying test and break their hearts."