2022 TANKARD RUNNER
2 Drawn 13 60.0 LILY BLUE 5-year-old mare
Owner: Ms Robyn Macleod & Gin’ll Fix It Syndicate (Nom: Miss K Stidolph) – Breeder:Mr G J Armitage – Trainer: Bridget Stidolph
Breeding: Black Minnaloushe (USA) – Mammy Blue (ZIM) by Kitalpha (USA)
Colours: Pink, pink sleeves, turquoise armbands and cap
Half the crowd at Borrowdale Park could well be screaming for Lily Blue on Castle Tankard Day – and if she is in with a shout turning into the home straight, I will be screaming with them.
However, it is a tough ask. Joint top weight with Finchatton and not the best of draws., but if Lily Blue and jockey Jarryd Penny prove me wrong, I will be delighted. This gallant mare has won 12 races and was quoted at 4/1 when betting opened.
Lily Blue won the Champion Juvenile Stakes, and as a three-year-old was formidable, winning 7 races in succession including the Breeders Fillies Mile (L), and the ZNA Charity Champion Fillies Stakes before collecting the Triple Tiara (Fillies Classic, the Silver Slipper and the Zimbabwe Oaks) and two legs of the Zimbabwe Triple Crown (the Zimbabwe Guineas and the Zimbabwe Derby). When it comes to the 2000m Castle Tankard this girl is distance suited.
She campaigned in Gauteng winning two races for fillies and mares over 1800m before returning to Zimbabwe to contest the Champion Fillies Stakes in November 2021. This 1600m event was won by Seven Seas and Lily Blue was two lengths back, conceding 6 kgs to the winner. Her next outing was on March 20 when she won the 2000m Breeders Champion Cup (L) and Heir Line, Bugatti Blue, Finchatton and Wantage were behind her.
Lily Blue’s last start was in the 1600m Independence Trophy on April 13 where she finished a disappointing 9 lengths back and all of Bugatti Blue, True Beauty, Finchatton, Holy Land and Mr Greenlight did better, but I am prepared to draw a line through that. The going was yielding then and if Lily Blue wasn’t ready for the Tankard her connections wouldn’t dream of running her.
Viva Lily Blue.
Photograph: Gavin Macleod.