Banchee Heads to the Broodmare Paddock
13 February 2012
The blue-blooded mare Banchee has been retired to stud, with the Group 1 winner now embarking on the next stage of her stellar career in the broodmare paddock.New Zealand’s Champion Two-Year-Old in 2010, Banchee (Oratorio x Miss Jessie Jay) was trained by John Sargent to win three of her six starts at two, including the Group 2 Matamata Breeders’ Stakes and Group 1 Diamond Stakes, in addition to a third placing in the Karaka Million.
As a three-year-old Banchee contested a number of legs of the 10-race New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year Series including the Group 3 Gold Trail Stakes, Group 1 1000 Guineas, Group 3 Eulogy Stakes and the Group 2 Eight Carat Classic where she ran a close second to Smoulder.
Her defining performance as a three-year-old came in the 2011 $200,000 Karaka 3YO Mile, a race that now carries a Restricted Listed Status. Coming into the race off the back of a victory at Ellerslie two weeks prior, Banchee destroyed her rivals as she powered home to an impressive two-and-a-half-length win.
Now a four-year-old, Banchee kicked off the 2011/12 season on a winning note when putting in a solid effort at Taupo to record an easy length win over 1400 metres. She was later taken to Melbourne to contest the Group 1 Myer Classic where she encountered a wet track and was subsequently unplaced.
Making a positive return to New Zealand, Banchee ran from the back of the field to claim fourth in the Group 2 Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes before losing a plate and pulling up sore in the Group 1 Captain Cook Stakes behind Mufhasa.
She made her return six weeks later in mid-January at Ellerslie and again encountered a wet track but ran on well in the final stages running the last 600 metres in 33.53 seconds. Her last racetrack outing came in the Group 1 Thorndon Mile on 28 January.
Banchee’s final racing statistics read 21 starts for six wins, four placings and $446,318 in stakes.
A wonderfully bred mare, Banchee is by Oratorio (Danehill) and is from what has quickly become one of New Zealand’s hottest thoroughbred families.
Banchee is a half-sister to the dual Group 1 winner Katie Lee (Pins) who became the first filly in New Zealand’s history to win the Group 1 NZ 1000/Group 1 NZ 2000 Guineas double. She also won New Zealand Bloodstock’s coveted Filly of the Year title in 2009/10.
Her dam is the Group 3 winning mare Miss Jessie Jay (Spectacularphantom), the 2009/10 New Zealand Broodmare of the Year and a half-sister to the dual Group 1 winning sprinter Gee I Jane (Jahafil) and Miss Katella, the dam of the Group 3 winner San Bernardino (Gold Mine).
A decision on what stallion Banchee will be sent to later this year has yet to be decided.