Talented filly Lady Banff has added another string to her bow, coming from off the pace on a heavy track to make a winning return and provide the Matthew Dunn stable with the first leg of a winning double at Rosehill.
Lady Banff won two of her first four starts in Queensland in her first racing preparation which culminated when she led the field in the $2 million Magic Millions Classic at the Gold Coast in January before fading in the final 200m to finish unplaced.
Racing on a heavy track for the first time in Saturday’s Darley 2YO Handicap (1100m), Lady Banff ($4.40) was a touch slow away and jockey James McDonald had to adopt “plan B”.
Coming from off the pace entering the home straight, the grey filly let down well and to strode to the front at the 150m before holding Meadow Land at bay to score by a neck with 1-1/4-lengths to Mrs Maisel third.
Stablemate Ready To Humble brought up a double for Murwillumbah-based Dunn, taking out the Highway Plate (1500m) 35 minutes later.
McDonald said Lady Banff was moving around in the barriers, prompting her to miss the start.
“I thought 100 metres out of the stalls it was going to turn into a disaster but luckily she’s got a bit of class on her side,” McDonald said.
“She’s got great form and she’s very well-educated by the Dunn stable and she overcame a few hurdles today which is a good thing considering she’s been very one dimensional but she’s learning all the time.
“She’d just become quite agitated in the stalls and she bungled the start and we had to go back to plan B. She did a great job by rounding them up with 59 kilos on her back.”
Dunn’s wife, Kiera, was representing the stable at Rosehill, said they would see how Lady Banff comes through her first-up win before making a plan for the filly.