The 2021 STYLE Round Table Champion Fillies Stakes will be run over 1600m at Borrowdale Park on Saturday and, if Lily Blue is in it, I expect her to win.
Traditionally this race has been run over 1800m – which may have suited Lily Blue better at this stage of her career – but it is what it is and she will surely be hard to beat. Lily Blue won this race in 2019 and recently returned to Zimbabwe after campaigning in Gauteng.
Last season’s champion, Dindingwe, is also among the acceptors and is set to carry 60 kgs – the same weight as Lily Blue. Of the others, Ultra Edge, Fortuna Doro and Mazikeen could surprise, so let’s take a quick look at the previous form.
1 Drawn 4 DINDINGWE 60 kgs (MR90) Wes Marwing – Debra Swanson – 4f By Futura – Miss Delish by Jallad (USA). As a three-year-old won 1600m Fillies Classic, Breeders Fillies Mile, Zimbabwe Guineas, Silver Slipper (1800m), and placed third in 2400m Zimbabwe Derby. Has not fared well in open company so far.
2 Drawn 1 LILY BLUE 60 kgs (MR94) J Gates – Bridget Stidolph – 5m By Black Minnaloushe (USA) – Mammy Blue (ZIM) by Kitalpha (USA). In 2019 Won Breeders Fillies Mile, Champion Fillies Stakes (1800m), Fillies Classic, Zimbabwe Guineas, Silver Slipper (1800m), Zimbabwe Derby, and Zimbabwe Oaks. Has won two races at the Vaal over 1800m this year.
3 Drawn 2 FORTUNA DORO 58 kgs (MR86) K Steyn – Bridget Stidolph – 6m By Pomodoro – Fortunes Hand by Elliodor (FR). Won over 1450m at the Vaal and two races at Borrowdale over 1450m and 1500m. Has run a couple of decent races over 1600m, and was placed in this race in 2020.
4 Drawn 3 SEVEN SEAS 54 kgs (MR79) A Arries – Gokhan Terzi – 5m By Elusive Fort – Seven Sails by Argonaut. Won over 1450m at the Vaal and a 1200m Graduation Plate at Borrowdale, beating Tulip Way. Rather a dark horse as has not often tried further.
5 Drawn 6 ULTRA EDGE 54 kgs (MR77) T Gould – Bridget Stidolph – 4f By Master Of My Fate – Quick Single by Jallad (USA). Has won last 3 starts – an 1800m Novice Plate, the 1260m Sable Flyers and a 1600m Progress Plate. In form and should do well.
6 Drawn 5 MAZIKEEN 52 kgs (MR 74) L Tarentaal – Vanessa Birketoft – 4f By Twice Over (GB) – Jennyanydots by Black Minnaloushe (USA). Second to Dindingwe in 1600m Fillies Classic, has won 1600m Novice Plate and ran second to Diesel And Dust in the Zimbabwe 2000 in April, finishing 1.55 lengths ahead of Dindingwe. Seems to have gone off the boil recently.
The first race on Saturday is at 12 20 pm and the Champion Fillies Stakes is due off at 16 25.
Photographs by Gavin Macleod and Jenny Stock.