Australian Racing: Esperance Impresses
By Kristen Manning
Breeding and racing giant Darley looks to have another smart one on their hands with Esperance impressive winning his second race from as many starts when lining up as a short priced favourite at Sandown on Wednesday.
Creating a big impression when saluting by eight lengths at his Echuca debut late last month, the James Cummings trained three-year-old rose in both class and distance at Sandown but neither proved a stumbling block.
Taking an early lead, the good looking bay was always travelling well and he gave a strong kick in the run home, saluting by a soft two lengths with Indernile doing his best work late.
High up in the markets for the Caulfield Guineas, Esperance will be given the time he needs to recover from his first two starts with Darley’s David Charles reporting that “we will let him come through this race before deciding where he goes next.”
“We are very pleased with his progress from Echuca to Sandown, he put them to bed pretty quickly at the top of the straight, it was an encouraging run.”
“He is very exciting.”
Jockey Craig Williams agreed, noting that “he is still a work in progress.”
“He is a horse who is still raw, still learning his craft but he gave me a really good feel. He’s got a really good motor when it matters, he is surely going to get to that next level.”
Esperance is a son of former shuttler Bernardini, four times Group One winning sire of 60 stakes winners including the southern hemisphere bred big race winners Boban and Ruud Awakening.
A half-brother to the dual Group winner Obsequious, Esperance is the third winner for the city maiden winning Commands mare Sycophant, half-sister to the Gr.2 placed Sydney Owner.
Served last spring by Doncaster Handicap and George Main Stakes winner Kermadec, Sycophant is a descendant of influential matriarch Admiration whose daughter Pretty Polly is one of the legends of the UK turf.
Esperance boasts an interesting pedigree with a highlight being a 6 X 7 cross of high class race and broodmare Glamour via her Group winning sons Poker and Boucher.
Kristen Manning is a freelance racing writer and pedigree analyst based in Melbourne. A keen owner/breeder who loves every aspect of thoroughbred horse racing, she has written two books focusing on the deeds of Fields Of Omagh and Prince Of Penzance.