ESPIONA fulfilled her elite-level potential when winning the Group 1 Coolmore Classic over 1,500 metres at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday. Returning from a short stay at the Flemington stable where she won the Group 3 Mannerism Stakes last start, ESPIONA was brilliant at her home track with the in form Michael Dee aboard to give Chris Waller his first victory in the race.
Michael allowed the mare to find her feet and the pair settled midfield through the early stages of the race. Once in the straight, he opted for the rails run which opened up nicely for them and ESPIONA let down gamely to win in what became a gripping three way challenge for the winning post.
ESPIONA was a $190,000 yearling purchase from the draft of Torryburn Stud at the 2020 Magic Millions Gold Coast sale and on Saturday, she became the third individual Group 1 winner for her sire Extreme Choice. The mare has now won five races of which four are black type and so in time she will become an extremely valuable breeding proposition.
Special thanks to Chris as always for another genius training performance; to all of his staff who look after our horses so well and to each of the farms which have played a pivotal role in getting ESPIONA to this point. Brett Howard who does such a tremendous job assisting us at the yearling sales deserves a pat on the back as well.
Congratulations to the winning ESPIONA owners Leon Mugavin, McLeish Family Racing (Manager: David McLeish), Felgate Holdings (Manager: Paul Felgate), Anne Hickey, Boeara Holdings (Manager: Denise Dunphy), CGO Racing, Paramount Racing (Manager: Kathryn Wood), Martin Ive, Rachel Ive, Macedon Park Pty Ltd (Manager: Margie Sheldon), Dianne Handley.