Much was expected of Extreme Choice filly Espiona this autumn, but a combination of bad barriers and wet tracks have combined to keep her out of the winner’s circle until Saturday when she showed her true class to score a resounding win in the G3 ATC JHB Carr Stakes (1400m).
Trained by Chris Waller and ridden by James McDonald, Espiona enjoyed a perfect run from barrier two and when angled into the clear she slipped way over the final furlong to open up and win by four and a half lengths.
“It’s been a tricky autumn for a lot of connections and horses with one rain shower after another,” Waller said.
“She’ll take confidence from this and I think she is a really good horse in the making and has a bright future.
“She’s still immature having had only two starts coming into the autumn. I’d like to give her a good spell now and then go full tilt at the spring.”
— Star Thoroughbreds (@StarTbreds) April 16, 2022
Bred by Torryburn Stud in partnership with 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 Yearling Sale.
Now a two time stakes-winner, Espiona has the overall record of three wins and two placings from six starts with prizemoney topping $315,000.
From Waikato Stud’s phenomenal Escada family, Espiona is the first foal of the winning O’Reilly mare Dahooil, a sister to stakes winner Bonny O’Reilly and half-sister to stakes-winner Pretty to Sea, the family also producing G1 winners Glamour Puss, Vision and Power and Steps in Time.
This season’s G2 MVRC Moonee Valley Vase winner Forgot You is another star family member.
Sadly for Torryburn Stud, Dahooil died earlier this year and her last foal is a weanling colt by Capitalist.
Copy: Breednet, Images: Bradley Photos