Fillies took centre stage at the Curragh yesterday with some top class performances from La Collina (IRE), Maybe (IRE) and Banimpire (IRE), while Was (IRE) certainly looked a star of the future when making a winning debut in the maiden. La Collina, a 33/1 outsider and trained by Kevin Prendergast finished with a flourish to claim the days feature, the Group 1 Keeneland Phoenix Stakes in the colours of Jeorg Vasicek. Royal Ascot winner Power looked destined for the winner’s spot a furlong out but La Collina produced a fine turn of foot to sweep by close home. Tough As Nails ran another fine race in defeat to finish third. Prendergast, winning the race for the fourth time commented; She’s got a good turn of foot, a great temperament and has been working well. The obvious target is the Moyglare, which I won for the owners with Termagant a couple of years ago.”
La Collina was bred by Frank Barry’s Manister House Stud in Limerick and is by Strategic Prince out of Starfish (by Galileo). Strategic Prince, a Group 2 winning son of Dansili is a first season sire based in Coolmore Stud. He stands for a fee of €4,000 and this win will serve as a major boost at this early stage of his career. On her previous start La Collina had been narrowly beaten by Maybe who earlier in the day had maintained her unbeaten record with a very impressive win in the Group 2 Debutante Stakes. The daughter of Galileo looked in complete control in the last quarter mile and a rematch with La Collina in the Group 1 Moyglare Stakes is a race to look forward to. Maybe was bred by Denis Brosnan’s Epona Bloodstock out of the stakes winning Danehill mare Sumora.
The Group 2 Royal Whip Stakes served as yet another demonstration of the toughness and class of Jim Bolger’s Banimpire. The filly was just touched off in the Irish Oaks last month and she notched up her fifth Group race success when beating Dunboyne Express by three quarters of a length. A Goffs Orby Sale graduate when bought by her trainer for €52,000 Banimpire is by Holy Roman Emperor and was bred by Kilcarn Stud. Her dam My Renee has a yearling full brother to Banimpire entered in next months Goffs Orby Sale.