It might not carry Black Type but the $2million ATC The Invitation (1400m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday saw the cream rise to the top with Group I winning mares Espiona and Ruthless Dame fighting out the finish.
The Chris Waller trained Espiona was coming off a luckless last start seventh in The Everest and showed her usual turn of foot to power home for Kerrin McEvoy and win the lucrative feature by a head to the great delight of her big team of Star Thoroughbreds owners.
Outstanding G1-winning mare Espiona wins the $2m The Invitation @aus_turf_club for @StarTbreds, @cwallerracing, & @KPMcEvoy – what a great thrill for all concerned with the @torryburnstud, @mmsnippets consigned daughter of Extreme Choice who takes her earnings to more than $2.8m. pic.twitter.com/xvn42sT5qP
— Randwick Bloodstock (@RBloodstock) October 28, 2023
“The Everest was not ideal, she didn’t really get a fair crack at them at all. So to come here today and bounce through that and then have to course wide throughout. I thought ‘Gee you’re going to have to be good today to win’ and she was exactly that,” said assistant trainer Charlie Duckworth.
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.
A five time stakes-winner, Espiona has the overall record of seven wins and three placings from 17 starts with prizemoney topping $2.8million.
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.
What. A. Day! 🤩 So proud of ESPIONA winning the $2 million The Invitation @KPMcEvoy and CHRYSAOR winning the $1 million Group 2 Callander-Presnell @G1TySchil. Huge congratulations and thanks as always to our Star owners, the entire @cwallerracing team and @RBloodstock pic.twitter.com/yQ8qtjc895
— Star Thoroughbreds (@StarTbreds) October 28, 2023
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 yer to Julian Blaxland Bloodstock / Dream Thoroughbreds / Anthony Freedman Racing / Bluegrass Bloodstock and has been named Transactions with Anthony and Sam Freedman to train.
Espiona is a star performer for Newgate Farm’s flagship sire Extreme Choice, who stands this spring at a fee of $275,000.