The dawn of what promises to be a spectacular career for Espiona, who kept her record at a perfect two for two with a contemptuous six and a half-length romp in the Listed Off the Track Desirable Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on VRC Oaks Day.
The Chris Waller-trained filly became the sixth stakes winner from the first crop of 48 live foals for Newgate Farm’s Extreme Choice.
Backed to the exclusion of all others following her debut win at Warwick Farm, James McDonald had the Star Thoroughbreds colour-bearer in the second half of the field.
Did we just witness something very, very special @FlemingtonVRC? @cwallerracing & @mcacajamez team up again as @StarTbreds 3yo Extreme Choice filly Espiona demoralises her rivals by 6.5 lens to win at Listed level!@RBloodstock @mmsnippets @torryburnstud @NewgateFarm @HunterBred pic.twitter.com/r8pkoqFotW
— Breedingracing.com (@BreedingRacing) November 4, 2021
Extracted to the centre of the track in the straight, Espiona was never out of second gear to defeat Star of Chaos (Zoustar) by a widening six and a half lengths with Star Waltz (Snitzel) a head back in third.
McDonald did his best to keep his emotions in check.
“She’s very special, the way she does everything so easily,” he said.
“Once I got into that right spot, I was very comfortable for three furlongs. Her acceleration is something to behold. She gives you the feel of a proper horse.
“It probably looked as good as it felt. She’s a lovely filly. They have taken their time with her. She could have run as a two-year-old but they’ve taken their time with her and will reap the rewards.
“She’s been very push-button, very well educated, and the world is her oyster.
“It’ll take something for a horse to beat a performance like that in Cup Week.”
Bred by Torryburn Stud and Frank Cook, Espiona was a $190,000 purchase by Star Thoroughbreds/Randwick Bloodstock Agency (FBAA) from the Torryburn Stud draft at the 2020 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale.
From Waikato Stud’s phenomenal Escada family, Espiona is the first foal of the winning O’Reilly mare Dahooil, purchased by Waller for $340,000 from the Waikato draft at the 2015 NZB Premier Yearling Sale.
Dahooil is a sister to stakes winner Bonny O’Reilly and a three-quarter sister to Group II AJC Stan Fox Stakes winner Rare insight and triple Listed winner Escadaire.
Rare Insight is the dam of Group 1 ATC Coolmore Classic winner Steps In Time (Danehill Dancer).
Dahooil has not had a foal since Espiona and was covered by Capitalist last November.