Espiona leads home Waller quinella in Golden Pendant

Espiona runs away with the 2023 Group 2 Golden Pendant. Photo: Racing NSW

Chris Waller has managed to train the quinella of the Group 2 Golden Pendant (1400m) at Rosehill as Espiona saluted as a +130 favourite.

Having chased home the Annabel Neasham-trained Sunshine In Paris in the Group 2 Sheraco Stakes (1200m) when finishing second beaten under a length, the Extreme Choice mare went one better in the $400,000 Group 2 event at Rosehill.

Saturday’s win was Espiona’s second win at Rosehill, having claimed the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) during the autumn.

Diamond Dealer (+2000) had a majority of her rivals chasing a long way out, but Espiona was clearly travelling the best on the home turn as Nash Rawiller peeled the mare off heels to put up an impressive margin on her fast-finishing stablemate Atishu (+400) in second and last start Tibbie Stakes (1400m) winner Banana Queen ($6.50) in third.

It was all honours the winner though, as Espiona took her record to six wins from 15 starts, and three minor placings.

2023 Group 2 Golden Pendant Replay – Espiona | T: Chris Waller | J: Nash Rawiller

The win handed Chris Waller his second win in the race after Subpoenaed claimed the race in 2020 and the master trainer might have bigger plans in store for his classy mare.

“If we can’t find a better one she’ll be there,” Waller said post-race when asked if Espiona would fill his slot in The Everest (1200m) on October 14.

“The horse that beat her last start has got a slot (Sunshine In Paris). I guess we’ve got to work out where she fits in, we won’t say no.

“Someone might grab her before our slot, who knows?”

“For Denise (Martin) and Star Thoroughbreds I hope they do get a slot, it would be fantastic.

“It’s such an amazing race and they’ll run with speed on so she’s got the right set-up, just got to be good enough to win.”

The win handed Nash Rawiller a second win in the Golden Pendant and a first success in the race since 2012 after guiding More Joyous to victory.

“That big race, it’s like a 1400m,” said Rawiller about Espiona’s chance in The Everest should she gain a spot.

“The way the race looked it was going to be really ugly for her I thought.

“It’s just amazing that after two strides there was speed to keep her happy, and me. She’s loomed up there and got to show what she can do.”

Espiona is a +2000 chance with online betting sites for The Everest.

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