Only four fillies are nominated for the 2020 Fillies Classic – first leg of the Zimbabwe Triple Tiara – and to make matters worse they are all from one stable. In 2019 there were five runners but at least they represented three yards.
In my opinion, for what it’s not worth, it would be better to put the fillies’ Classic races in mothballs until the situation improves, rather than downgrade Classic races and put off punters. Let the good fillies compete with the colts and geldings in the Triple Crown races.
Sadly, this year should have been better. There are more three-year-old fillies in training who could have made a race of it. In these hard times the people whose livelihood depends on the continuation and improvement of racing at Borrowdale Park should be striving to make the best of things for the good of racing. After all you can’t win them all – and probably shouldn’t.
Be that as it may, the 2020 Fillies Classic is going ahead with, if all goes well, four runners. Lily Blue is sure to start favourite and I will be shocked if she doesn’t triumph in this 1600m event. Last time out she won the 1800m ZNA Champion Fillies Stakes over 1800m and prior to that the Breeders Fillies Mile (L), beating Wijdaan by two lengths. This daughter of Black Minnaloushe (USA) is out of a Kitalpha (USA) mare and appears to be a class act.
On Sunday February 2 Lily Blue takes on Gimmethegreenback, Prescott and newcomer to Borrowdale, Infinity Blue. The last-mentioned is an Oratorio (IRE) filly who won her last start at Flamingo Park over 1800m.
May the best horse win – and I mean that. The four runners and the single trainer involved can’t be blamed for the entries not living up to expectations.
Final Acceptances for the February 2 meeting are due later today (Monday).
Photograph: Wijdaan chasing Lily Blue in the Breeders Fillies Mile (L).