Photograph by Zimbabwe Equine News: Lily Blue with Calvin Habib up – quite a long time ago.

Borrowdale Park’s darling, Lily Blue, comes out on Sunday in the Zimbabwe Oaks (L), and seems heading for a seventh successive victory.

Bred by Geoff Armitage, Lily Blue won two legs of the Triple Crown – the Zimbabwe Guineas and the Zimbabwe Derby – where she took on the boys.

The Black Minnaloushe (USA) filly already has two legs of the Triple Tiara under her belt – the Fillies Classic and the Silver Slipper. The Zimbabwe Oaks is run over 2000m but Lily Blue has won up to 2400m so that won’t be a problem.

Three brave fillies have picked up the Oaks gauntlet – Centre Stage, Prescott and Candy Cane.

Prescott and Candy Cane, as well as Lily Blue, are trained by Bridget Stidolph. Prescott has run second to her stable companion on several occasions, but Candy Cane has yet to race against her. This Pathfork (USA) filly previously raced in Gauteng from 1000m to 1800m, and has only had two starts at Borrowdale. She won her last outing where she beat Maitreya by a length in a 1450m Maiden Plate.

Candy Cane will have claiming apprentice Munashe Josi in the irons. Weight counts but the other runners have experienced jockeys on their side. Morgan Nyamagwete rides Lily Blue; Kevin Derere is aboard Centre Stage, while Nikki Sibanda is on Prescott.

Centre Stage from Tomcat Racing raced in South Africa and won a 2000m Maiden at Borrowdale on March 27. The daughter of Oratorio(IRE)’s last outing was on June 12 when she finished 5.75 lengths off Zambezi Rapids in a 1800m Allowance Plate.

Lily Blue looks hard to beat in this one and everyone likes to see a good horse win. I suspect the real battle will be on for second place.

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