Best On Breeding

Mark Smith - Thursday April 8

It is Day One of The Championships at Royal Randwick on Saturday, and as per usual for this time of the year, connections will be looking skyward at the changeable Sydney weather.  

In the $2million Group 1 ATC Australian Derby (2400m), we are sticking with the only filly in the race, Montefilia.

Montefilia wins the Spring Champion Stakes (image Steve Hart)

The David Payne-trained filly has been the flagbearer for Darley Stud's Kermadec. She honoured Teofilo's son (IRE) with his first winner at Newcastle just over a year ago, then created another milestone when defeating the top-class Frankel filly Hungry Heart in the Group 1 Flight Stakes at Randwick on October 3.

Seven days later, Montefilia added the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at the expense Lion's Roar (Contributer), who she will oppose again on Saturday.

Montefilia is the best of four winners from five to race out of the Shirocco mare Bana Wu (GB).

The one non-winner is the 2yo Shalaa (IRE) filly Nice for What, who finished second in the Group III Ottawa Stakes at Flemington on debut. The Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained filly finished fourth in the Inglis Millennium won by Profiteer before finishing midfield in the Group II Sweet Embrace Stakes at Randwick won by Four Moves Ahead.  

Bana Wu was an accomplished (GB) racemare. She was consigned to the 2010 Tattersalls October Yearling Sale, where she was bought back by the vendor for 11,000gns. A year earlier, she was bought back for 5,000gns at the Tattersalls December Foal Sale.

Despite winning just a 10f maiden at Newbury in 13 starts for Andrew Balding, Bana Wu (GB) contested nine stakes races.

She placed in three of those at Listed level and was fourth in a further four, including the Group III Rockfel Stakes and the group III Dahlia Stakes, both at Newmarket.

Bana Wu (GB) is a daughter of the Marju mare My Way, a half-sister to dual Group II winning 2yo Strategic Prince and the Listed winner Yorkshire. A son of Dansili, Strategic Prince finished third behind Kermadec's sire Teofilo (IRE) in the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes, while Yorkshire (Generous) made the trip to Flemington for the 1998 Melbourne Cup where he was beaten just on a length into fifth place behind the winner Jezabeel.  

My Way is out of the Listed Lingfield Oaks Trial winner Ausherra (Diesis), a sister to champion mare Ramruma. Diesis's daughter won the Epsom Oaks, Irish Oaks and the Yorkshire Oaks, on the way to being crowned Champion Three-Year-Old filly in Europe.

Montefilia was pinhooked by Dean Harvey's Baystone Farm as a weanling for $62,000 out of the Tyreel Stud draft at the 2018 Inglis Great Southern Sale. Re-offered by Tyreel a year later at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale, Montefilia was bought by David Payne for $130,000.

Montefilia a $130,000 MM Gold Coast yearling

In 2018, Tyreel Stud consigned Bana Wu (GB) to the 2018 Inglis Australian Broodmare Sale, where Sean Duke purchased her for $92,500.

She was carrying the Shalaa (IRE) filly Nice For What at the time.

Consigned by Shadow Hill Thoroughbreds to the 2020 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale, the daughter of Shalaa (IRE) was purchased by Ciaron Maher Racing for $160,000.

Bana Wu's yearling colt by Ribchester was withdrawn from the recent Easter Yearling Sale (IRE).

After missing to Ribchester (IRE) in 2019, Bana Wu (GB) was covered by Shalaa (IRE) again last spring. When she came up empty, she was sent back for a reunion with Kermadec in November.

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