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Ad Zestiman ridden by Luke Currie wins the All Jockeys Dash (Photo by Brett Holburt/Racing Photos via Getty Images)

Sweet debut for Zestiman at Flemington

13 January 2024 Written by Racing & Sports

Hayes’ trained Zestiman justifies favouritism with smart debut win at Flemington.

Ben, Will and JD Hayes have options aplenty for Zestiman after the two-year-old colt won well down the Flemington straight over 1000m on debut.

The son of Zoustar was kept safe as the $3.60 favourite and wore down $8.50 chance I'm Kenough who kicked clear at the 200m mark to win by a neck with a further 1.25 lengths back to Twin Engine ($4.20) in third.

"It was a terrific debut, it was a great ride by Luke (Currie), he kept him in a rhythm, late he was strong, hit the line. It was a relatively straightforward race, it's good to see him put his right foot forward," Will Hayes said.

The win opens up plenty of options with the Listed Blue Diamond Preview (1000m) just two weeks away on January 26th at Caulfield, and Zestiman is likely to be given his opportunity to aim up at the traditional Blue Diamond lead up events, while also being eligible for Inglis races.

"It's a good problem to have, while he's a colt the dream's alive, we'll just see how he pulls up but it's a great time of the year to have a winner. He'll progress through the preludes and previews if he's up to it, so far so good," Hayes said.

The stable have already produced some smart two-year-old winners this season including Listed Inglis Banner (1000m) winner Bold Bastille and Will Hayes believes Zestiman is amongst the stable's better juveniles.

"Today of the few that have debuted so far you'd be wrong to say he's not top five…now we've got options aplenty, that's a nice race to pick up as we head towards the Diamond."