Espiona has driven up the inside to win the Group 1 Coolmore Classic for the fillies and mares on Saturday afternoon, gaining her first win at Group 1 level and Chris Waller getting his first win in the race.
Michael Dee has been in sublime form and it showed with his ride on the four-year-old mare, sneaking rails runs to nail Pride Of Jenni in the shadows of the post.
It comes after Michael Dee had seen back-to-back Group 1 success down in Victoria, winning the Australian Guineas on Legarto and prior to that, taking out the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes on Little Brose.
Espiona was thrown in the deep end after winning in Victoria leading into this, in a genius move from the stable, giving this daughter of Extreme Choice a much-deserved Group 1 win.
Pride Of Jenni was brave on speed running hot early sectionals before just getting nosed out, while Sheeza Belter charged home to find third for the Peter & Paul Snowden camp.
Group 1 Coolmore Classic Replay – Espiona
Chris Waller spoke post-race for the third time in the winner’s enclosure about his talented mare.
“It was good to see her get back to winning form last start,” said Waller.
“Obviously she could be a bit better in Melbourne, but we had to have an opportunity on her home track. Thrown in at the weights and a lovely draw and a lovely ride from Michael Dee.
“As we continue to say you can’t sense confidence, you can only give it to a horse. Whether it’s winning or looking after them.”
Winning jockey Michael Dee discuss getting down to the low weight to ride this mare and gave credit to the Chris Waller team getting Espiona back to her best.
“When she won so well in Melbourne I was certainly very happy to be on her today,” said Dee.
“Especially at this light weight. A credit to Chris Waller and his team and to herself.
“The tempo was on and she seemed happy and relaxed in the run and we had a lot of room there in front of horses.
“Then coming into the straight she absolutely grabbed the bridle and was very strong up in behind them. It was just a matter of switching to the inside and she exploded.”