The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
Espiona is tipped to break her Group 1 maiden status when she takes on the older mares in the wet in the 2022 Coolmore Classic at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
With the big wet continuing across New South Wales this week, the Rosehill track is at a Heavy (10) for the next Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival meeting headlined by the Group 1 $600,000 Coolmore Classic (1500m).
The Coolmore Classic field has already seen three scratchings at time of publish: Le Lude (14), Kiku (11) and Light Fingers winner Fangirl (5) instead racing against the boys in the Group 2 Phar Lap Stakes (1500m) on the same day.
With the latter two out from the Waller stable, the master trainer still has four remaining chances to take out the quality handicap for the first time.
His contingent is led by race favourite Espiona, the progressive Extreme Choice filly at $3.70 and firming in Coolmore Classic betting at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Well-backed in from an opening quote of $6.50, the three-year-old gets in on just 50kg with Jay Ford to ride the light-weight from gate four third-up.
After winning her opening two career starts in the spring including a six and a half-length Listed victory at Flemington on Oaks Day, Espiona has run in the money as the beaten favourite back-to-back in Sydney this prep.
First-up she was a devastatingly close second fresh behind Fangirl in the Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) before her third in the Group 1 Surround Stakes (1400m) behind another top Waller filly, Hinged, on February 26.
Showing her versatility with the Light Fingers run on a Good (4) and the Surround a Heavy (10), Espiona is now tipped to win in the mud coming back six kilos and proven in the going.
She is out to break a notable drought for the fillies in the event with Typhoon Tracy the last three-year-old filly to beat the older mares in the Coolmore Classic back in 2009.
The other Waller runners in the feature are: the rails-drawn seven-year-old Polly Grey ($31) coming off a first-up second in the Group 3 Aspiration Quality from last Saturday, Savabeel four-year-old Atishu ($31) and his Surround Stakes champion Hinged ($7.50) chasing back-to-back Group 1 wins.
Worthy Cause filly Hinged has William Pike coming aboard for her third-up run of the autumn where she looks to become the first filly to do the Surround Stakes – Coolmore Classic double since Regal Cheer (2006).
Occupying the second line of Coolmore Classic betting at $6 is the ultra-consistent Mizzen Mast grey Lighthouse for Ciaron Maher & David Eustace.
Her past three runs have produced second place efforts, including in the Group 1 C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield behind Tofane and then in last Saturday’s Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Randwick behind Forbidden Love off an on-pace run.
Rounding out the single-figure fancies are the Mark Newnham-trained Makfi four-year-old Expat ($6.50) chasing a third win on the trot having won the Group 2 Millie Fox Stakes first-up at the track and the John O’Shea-trained Promise Of Success ($7) coming off successive Randwick seconds including in the Guy Walter Stakes behind Forbidden Love on a Heavy (10) last month.
2022 Coolmore Classic Field & Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Probable Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||301117×554||KRONE||Tony Gollan||Chad Schofield||3||58kg||110|
|2||1195x013x2||POLLY GREY (NZ)||Chris Waller||Brenton Avdulla||1||56.5kg||107|
|3||45x41053x3||VANGELIC||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Tim Clark||17||56.5kg||107|
|4||55×1111222||LIGHTHOUSE (USA)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Jason Collett||6||56kg||106|
|5||4x300x57x8||SHOUT THE BAR||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Regan Bayliss||15||56kg||106|
|6||4311Dx1911||EXPAT (NZ)||Mark Newnham||Tom Sherry (a)||10||54kg||102|
|7||24x0420x71||WANDABAA||Kris Lees||Tommy Berry||7||53.5kg||101|
|8||2111026×71||HINGED||Chris Waller||William Pike||12||52.5kg||100|
|9||1x141600x6||ATISHU (NZ)||Chris Waller||Ms Kathy O’Hara (late alt)||9||52kg||98|
|10||x055829x31||LE LUDE||John Thompson||14||51.5kg||97|
|11||4141216×56||MIRRA VISION||Peter & Paul Snowden||Sam Clipperton||16||51.5kg||53kg||97|
|12||132x121x22||PROMISE OF SUCCESS (GB)||John O’Shea||Ms Rachel King||13||51kg||96|
|14||016x0x46x3||YES BABY YES||Leon & Troy Corstens||Tyler Schiller (a)||2||51kg||51kg||88|
|15||11×23||ESPIONA||Chris Waller||Jay Ford||4||50kg||94|
|16||4x3111x15||FANGIRL||Chris Waller||Ms Kathy O’Hara||5||50kg||93|
|17||26326×3121||CAP ESTEL||Anthony Cummings||Quayde Krogh||8||50kg||69|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
Racing fields and data are copyright 2011-2021 © Racing Australia Pty Ltd (RA) (and other parties working with it).
Racing materials, including fields, form and results, is subject to copyright which is owned by RA and other parties working with it. Full copyright notice.