Magic Millions Press Release – July 10, 2024

One of the country’s most electrifying sprinters will present an incredible opportunity for breeding farms around the world when she is offered at a special standalone virtual sale later this month.

Espiona, a Group One Coolmore Classic winner, will be presented virtually by Glenesk Thoroughbreds as agent for her Denise Martin and Star Thoroughbreds ownership group and go under the gavel of auctioneer Clint Donovan at 3pm (AEST) on Wednesday 31 July.

During her illustrious career Espiona defeated 28 individual Group One winners including outstanding gallopers Pride of Jenni, Chain of Lightning, Fangirl, Bella Nipotina, Asfoora, Alcohol Free, Zougotcha, Stefi Magnetica, Private Eye and Ruthless Dame.

The mare, who earned over $3.3 million in prizemoney, was prepared during her illustrious career by master horseman Chris Waller who held the daughter of Extreme Choice in the highest of regards.

“She was a very tough horse,” Waller pointed out. “But her racing pattern made it difficult to get the best from her.”

“Like we saw this preparation, she was often in the company of the very best Australian sprinters, and she had enough ability to beat anything.”

“She was lightly raced and certainly from a pedigree and ability perspective, she is as good as you need and certainly capable of producing very good quality colts and fillies which would hype their chance in Group One races.”

Espiona’s pin-up victory came in last year’s Group One Coolmore Classic when she outgunned Pride of Jenni at the elite level in a performance that stunned rider Michael Dee – “it was just a matter of switching her to the inside and she just exploded!”

Nash Rawiller was also rolling out the superlatives after he partnered her to a romping win over Atishu and co in the Golden Pendant at Rosehill – “she’s got similar ability to More Joyous, which is a scary thing to say!”

Espiona was purchased as a yearling by Denise Martin’s Star Thoroughbreds and Randwick Bloodstock Agency’s Brett Howard from the Torryburn Stud draft at the 2020 Gold Coast Yearling Sale.

“I have no doubt Espiona was right up there with the likes of Imperatriz in terms of ability,” Howard said. “She met Imperatriz on three occasions. In last year’s Champion Stakes she made up a stack of ground on Imperatriz, coming from ninth at the 200m to run fourth behind her, beaten two lengths, running the race’s fastest last 200m, and holding off Bella Nipotina in the process.”

“In this year’s Lightning Stakes, both Private Eye (second) and Imperatriz (first) dawdled up front early. Espiona who settled near the rear of the field, was clocked to run the race’s fastest last 800m (43.25), 600m (32.29), 400m (21.47) and 200m (10.97), to finish within 0.7 lengths of Imperatriz, once again getting past Bella Nipotina and holding her off at the finish.

“For good measure her peak speed was clocked at 70.92 km/h, the race’s quickest, ahead of Imperatriz’s 69.59 km/h. Espiona also recorded the race’s fastest split of 10.5 seconds (400m-200m).”

“Their final meeting in this year’s TJ Smith, saw Espiona finish sixth within 0.24 lengths of Imperatriz. After drawing second from the outside, Nash Rawiller had little choice to settle near the rear of the field.”

“Held up at a vital stage in the straight, Espiona flashed home to be beaten only 0.8 lengths behind winner Chain of Lightning. Once again she was timed to run the race’s fastest last 600m, as well as the fastest last 200m. With an ounce of luck in the straight Espiona just wins!”

“I think most people would agree that Espiona’s quirky nature of wanting to hold her head to one side and lug in was one thing which probably stopped her from winning more races. There was a train of thought she was definitely better going the Melbourne way. When she did travel to Melbourne, she never ran a bad race.”

“However, she also did many great things in Sydney, including her Coolmore Classic win, her demolition of Atishu and others in the Group 2 Golden Pendant, and her most unlucky run in the TJ Smith,” Howard added. “You don’t earn a start in The Everest for nothing.”

As well as her achievements on the track, Espiona possesses a first class pedigree. The elite performer is from a daughter of influential broodmare sire O’Reilly who in turn is from daughters of Pins and Centaine – all successful broodmare sires.

Dahooil, the dam of Espiona, is a full sister to Bonny O’Reilly, three quarter sister to Rare Insight (dam of another Coolmore Classic winner Steps in Time), Escadaire and half sister to Pretty to Sea.

Espiona’s second dam is a blood sister to Crepe de Chine and Glam Slam and half sister to multiple Group One winner Glamour Puss and Doncaster and George Ryder winner Vision and Power.

“We are honoured to have been entrusted by Denise Martin and her syndicate of owners to present Espiona to prospective buyers,” Magic Millions Managing Director Barry Bowditch said. “Through her career she raced against elite horses and proved herself one of the best of her generation.”

“Being able to offer her through a standalone virtual sale will give the owners, vendor, prospective buyers and interested parties the opportunity to see her sell via a streamlined process by a world class auctioneer.”

“It will provide Espiona a fitting sales process to take her to the next journey of her life,” Bowditch added.

Any interested parties who would like to inspect Espiona should contact Barry Bowditch (0402 280 538) or James Hetherington (0428 783 300) to make suitable arrangements.