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Espaaniyah claims Inglis Banner on debut

Espaaniyah wins the opening race on Cox Plate day.
Espaaniyah has made a winning debut for co-trainers Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott on Cox Plate day.

Two-year-old Espaaniyah has shown her professionalism and precocity on debut to give training partners Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott a second straight Inglis Banner win at Moonee Valley.

Espaaniyah was a $750,000 yearling and Bott and jockey Tim Clark have predicted bigger things are in store for her after her all-the-way win in Saturday’s $500,000 race.

The stable won last year’s Inglis Banner (1000m) with Setsuna who went on to win a stakes race during the Melbourne Cup carnival, and that is an immediate option for Espaaniyah.

But longer term Bott believes the filly has the quality of a Golden Slipper prospect.

“The Golden Slipper horses produce themselves before Christmas and you can’t ask for much more of a better performance than that today,” Bott said.

“I know it’s a restricted race today, being a sales’ race, but her quality is right up there.

“She’s one of the more precocious two-year-olds that we’ve got.

“It was good to see her take the professionalism to today, because that’s what won her the race.”

Espaaniyah, the $3.70 favourite, bounced to the front on the rail before kicking clear to beat Biscara by two lengths.

Salome ran home into third, another 2-3/4-lengths away, after being carted the widest on the home turn when True Serendipity hung out.

Clark was keen to ride Espaaniyah in the Inglis Banner, believing the filly was smart.

“I think she’s got a really bright future. I really like her a lot,” he said.

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