A full sister to Golden Slipper and Blue Diamond place-getter Lake Geneva, royally bred filly Ennis Hill (2f Fastnet Rock x Hips Don’t Lie, by Stravinsky) staked her claim for Group I glory with a dominant win over the colts in the Group III MRC Chairman’s Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday.
Trained by the Hayes Dabernig partnership for a Coolmore syndicate, Ennis Hill disappointed when beaten into fourth on debut at the same venue back in December, but made amends with this bold showing.
Fitted with blinkers for this assignment, she jumped fast for Steve Baster and led all the way to win the 1000 metre scamper by a length and a half.
“At home, early days, we thought she was our best but then Long Leaf and a couple of others came along but she’s up there with them,” Ben Hayes said.
“With the blinkers on, she really woke up and never looked like losing. I think it was race experience as well (that helped), she broke better (from the gates) and they went quick too.
“She did it at both ends, which is always a good sign.”
While the Chairman’s Stakes victory was an important black type win for the valuable filly, the $90,000 winner’s cheque all but guaranteed Ennis Hill a Blue Diamond Stakes berth.
Hayes said Ennis Hill would go into the Blue Diamond Stakes on February 24 without another run.
“She’s super exciting and it’s just great to have another live chance in the Blue Diamond,” he said.
Foaled and raised at Coolmore and retained to race, Ennis Hill is the fifth winner from five foals to race from former brilliant juvenile stakes-winners Hips Don’t Lie, winner of the Group II STC Reisling Stakes.
Hips Don’t Lie has a yearling colt by Fastnet Rock and was covered by him again last spring.
Named for England’s Olympic Champion and three-time World Champion athlete Jessica Ennnis-Hill, Ennis Hill is the 128th stakes-winner for Fastnet Rock, who has 39 entries for the upcoming Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale and six for Inglis Classic.
Fastnet Rock is enjoying a purple patch with his two year-olds who also include unbeaten Blue Diamond contender Long Leaf and Karaka Million winner Avantage.
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