Talking Points - Saturday

Estriella puts her hand up as genuine Group 1 filly.

If you didn't already believe that Estriella is the real deal, you should now as she absolutely hacked up in the Sunlight Classic, posting a big new peak rating of 118.

She put the writing on the wall with a big return win at Caulfield that rated 108 and improved again to go 112 second up before another spike here, backed up by a very good speed figure.

Looking at the card, only the Australian Cup won by Cascadian (with Pride Of Jenni going very, but not too fast in front) recorded a better speed figure. Estriella's race is a clear second in that regard, running 1.37 seconds faster than Midtown Boss over the same trip earlier in the day, approximately 6-7 lengths faster.

The 107 rated Midtown Boss is no hack either, but Estriella's time of 1.02.31 is lightning quick. She was only about a length slower than Loveyamadly's track record of 1.02.15 and seemingly did it easily.

118 makes Estriella the highest rated three-year-old filly in the country, three pounds clear of dual Group 1 winner Tropical Squall.

Seeing as she won the Sunlight Classic, named after a multiple Group 1 winning filly, I thought it interesting to compare the two.

As a three-year-old, Sunlight held a peak rating of 119 which she ran to twice- both when winning Group 1 races in the Newmarket and William Reid. She'd match that again once at four when winning the Gilgai.

Estriella and Blake Shinn, picture Racing Photos

Estriella is only one pound off her and destined for Group 1 racing. Whether she next heads to the Group 2 Arrowfield Sprint or the Group 1 Sangster, or perhaps both (perhaps unlikely), remains to be seen, but the Sangster is there for the taking.

Ruthless Dame won the race as a three-year-old filly last year and ran to 114. Instant Celebrity only needed to run 112 to win it in 2021.

In fact, you need to go all the way back to the great Black Caviar to find a Sangster that took more than 118 to win.

Driefontein ran to 118 in 2014 which is the highest since Black Caviar, who only ran to 128+ in 2012.

In terms of current, older sprinting mares, Imperatriz is the clear benchmark at 124+. Bella Nipotina is next with a peak of 122 while Lady Laguna ran 121 to win the Canterbury Stakes. In Secret is rated 120.

Then you've got mares such as I Am Me (118), Sunshine In Paris (117+), Zapateo (116) and Magic Time (115), all of whom would be some chance of lining up in a Sangster.

I don't think Estriella would look out of place against mares like that at all. In fact, I think she's better than the ones rated 115-118, and can reach 120 very soon.

If she runs in the Arrowfield she'd be odds-on and near a good thing. Only Cylinder holds a rating that could beat her in my opinion, but he's highly unlikely to run.

Depending on the make up of the Sangster, she could go there and start inside 2-1 in my opinion. She's a weight-for-age sprinter in the making who is a genuine Everest/Champions Sprint chance in the Spring.