Champion trainer Chris Waller had a trio of Group I winning mares engaged in the $400,000 Group II ATC Golden Pendant (1400m) at Rosehill on Saturday with Espiona claiming the prize ahead of her stablemate Atishu.
The five year-old daughter of Extreme Choice won the Group I ATC Coolmore Classic back in the autumn and charged to the line for second to Sunshine in Paris in the Group II ATC Sheraco Stakes over 1200m when resuming from a spell.
Despite her trademark sideways skitter, just when she’s thinking about letting down to the line, Espiona proved that form with a sensational late dash for Nash Rawiller to beat Atishu by more than two lengths with So You Think mare Banana Queen a good third.
Such a great result for @StarTbreds and @cwallerracing to see the @torryburnstud @mmsnippets yearling sale graduate Espiona (Extreme Choice) win the G2 Golden Pendant @rosehillgardens.@FBAA_agents @NewgateFarm @MelCopelin @anz_news @TTRAusNZ @nashhot pic.twitter.com/7MrBxDxvZe
— Randwick Bloodstock (@RBloodstock) September 23, 2023
Chris Waller was thrilled with the win and mentioned the possibility of the Everest in his comments after the race.
“The horse that beat her last start (Sunshine in Paris) has a slot, so we need to see where she fits in and we won’t say no… someone might grab her before our slot. It would be fantastic for Denise (Martin) and the owners if she did get a slot as it’s such an amazing race,” he said.
Bred by Torryburn Stud in partnership with Frank Cook, Espiona was a $190,000 Magic Millions purchase by Star Thoroughbreds/Randwick Bloodstock Agency (FBAA) from the Torryburn Stud draft.
Now a five time stakes-winner, Espiona has the overall record of six wins and three placings from 15 starts with prizemoney topping $1.1million.
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 Group I winners Glamour Puss, Vision and Power and Steps in Time.
Sadly for Torryburn Stud, Dahooil died last year and her final foal is a two year-old colt by Capitalist that sold for $275,000 at Inglis Easter this year to Julian Blaxland Bloodstock / Dream Thoroughbreds / Anthony Freedman Racing / Bluegrass Bloodstock and has been named Transactions with Anthony and Sam Freedman to train.
Copy: Breednet, Images: Steve Hart