ESPIONA recorded her 5th Stakes win taking her prize money to more than $1 million when winning the Group 2 Golden Pendant at Rosehill Gardens over 1,400 metres on Saturday. The daughter of Extreme Choice ran a gallant second first up this preparation in the 1,200 metres Group 2 Sheraco Stakes with jockey Nash Rawiller aboard and it was wonderful to see the pair go one better second up.
The mare began well from the barriers to settle midfield on the fence where she travelled comfortably behind a good speed. Nash had her in a nice rhythm throughout before making the decision to creep a touch closer rounding the turn for home. Once ESPIONA balanced up in the straight, she angled out into clear galloping room, gliding up to the leader on the bridle before putting away the field in dominant fashion. Nash commented post race that the race meant a lot to him as he has previously won it on the legendary More Joyous and that ESPIONA gave him the same feel as her…high praise indeed. ESPIONA ran a race record time and she is certainly in for an exciting preparation.
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.