Extreme Choice mare Espiona roared back into top form at Sandown on Saturday when charging home to win the Group III MRC Mannerism Stakes (1400m) putting the spotlight on her Inglis Easter bound half-brother by Capitalist.
A touch disappointing when unplaced in three runs during the spring, the Chris Waller trained mare was dispatched to Melbourne after a close first up sixth in the Group III ATC Southern Cross against colts and geldings.
Dropped back to mares grade for this assignment, Espiona surged to the line for Jye McNeil in the Star Thoroughbreds colours to win by a length.
“By all reports, when she worked left-handed in Sydney she got a glowing report from the trackrider so it was nice to see her come here and do it today,” said stable representative Jo Taylor.
“Her last start was certainly credible. She wasn’t in the greatest part of the track and did what she had to.
“She came here with that residual fitness today and it certainly showed that she quite likes Victoria.”
The last time Espiona travelled south was in the spring of 2021 and she won a Listed race at Flemington by six lengths.
“We reiterated to Jye that she is a filly that needs a little bit more space and needs time to wind up so to me it was more a case of ‘don’t get stuck on the fence’ and then end up where you end up in the field,” Taylor added.
“He certainly rode to instruction and got the result.”
Espiona and her owners celebrate – image Grant Courtney
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 three time stakes-winner, Espiona has the overall record of four wins and two placings from 11 starts with prizemoney topping $480,000.
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 Group I winners Glamour Puss, Vision and Power and Steps in Time.