Banchee Crowned Champion 2YO

Following a stellar season to July 2010, star youngster Banchee (Oratorio x Miss Jessie Jay) was crowned Champion 2YO at last night’s Mercedes NZ Thoroughbred Racing Awards at Ellerslie.

A winner at her very first outing over 1100m at Ellerslie in December 2009, Banchee came out a fortnight later to record her first black type with a second placing in the Group 3 ARC Eclipse Stakes behind Cellarmaster.

A month later her third start was in New Zealand Bloodstock’s sale graduates race – the one million dollar Karaka Million – where she ran third behind the Queensland raider, Sister Havana (General Nediym).

Banchee bounced back less than a month later to turn the tables on Sister Havana, winning the Group 2 Matamata Breeders Stakes (1200m). Two weeks later she stepped it up again and showed her true class by securing the Group 1 ARC Diamond Stakes (1200m) and her top ranking on the New Zealand 2YO Free Handicap and the Champion 2YO crown.

Making it a truly family affair at last night's Mercedes Awards, Banchee’s dam, Miss Jessie Jay (Spectacularphantom), was crowned Champion Broodmare, and remarkably her half-sister Katie Lee was also crowned NZ Champion 3YO.

Bred by Hallmark Stud and Trevor Hurley, Banchee was recently purchased by Peter and Philip Vela and will be hunting the prestigious New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year Series title in their famous blue and white hoops this season.