3 Win Wednesday – Espionage Excellence
16 Mar 2023
Deserving of success, Espionage (4 g Savabeel – Bayrock, by Fastnet Rock) won the $14,000 Matley Financial Services Maiden 1400 metres on South Waikato Race Day (15 March) at Matamata.
After resuming with a strong run for second over 1200 metres in January at Tauranga, and clocking the fastest last 600m in two runs since, at Matamata and New Plymouth respectively, Espionage was able to grab the spoils following a tough trip.
Sent forward from a wide draw (12) by Opie Bosson, Espionage raced without cover three wide in fifth before ranging to challenge on straightening and he found a couple of lengths after arresting the lead 200m out.
“I was three deep, but the leaders compounded pretty quickly before the turn and he kept going strongly,” Bosson said. “It was a good effort off the trip.”
On a beautiful day, Espionage ran 1400 metres in 1:23.7, last 600m in 36.8, scoring by one and a quarter lengths, and as race favourite he returned $2.30 & $1.30 on the NZ TAB tote.
“It was nice to get a win with him today and even though he was three wide he just kept pressing forward,” said trainer Mark Walker.
“Now that he’s got a win under his belt there seems no reason why he can’t grow in confidence and go on with it.”
Espionage brought good course/distance stats, having placed three times in six starts at Matamata, and is now on the board for the owners in the Te Akau 2020 Four Colts’ Breeding Syndicate (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM).
A good-looking horse with a rich pedigree, Espionage was purchased as a yearling by David Ellis CNZM at the 2020 Karaka Book 1 Sale, from the draft of Windsor Park Stud, and this year he bought his yearling brother from the same draft.
“He’s one of the nicest young colts you’d ever see and we’ve now started to break him in,” Ellis said.
“Espionage has taken a little while to break through, but he’s run some pretty good races as well and sometimes these types of horses just need a win like that to spark their confidence.
“He’s always been a lovely type of horse and Opie (Bosson) was quite taken with him keeping up a tough effort.”
By eight-time Champion Sire Savabeel (Zabeel), a Cox Plate (Gr. 1, 2040m) winning three-year-old, his dam, Bayrock, is a sister to the explosive dual Group One winner and exciting young stallion Merchant Navy (Fastnet Rock).
Espionage was strapped by Olivia Hill.
Photo credit – www.raceimages.co.nz