News Pipalong - the flying bay filly

Pipalong - the flying bay filly


Fast fillies are special racehorses and the Weatherbys Bloodstock Pro Listed Pipalong Stakes run at Pontefract commemorates one of the toughest there has been.

Pipalong, born in January 1996 and bred in Ireland by Yeomanstown Stud, was a daughter of the stallion Pips Pride and out of the Green Desert mare Limpopo, a first foal out of the 1987 Irish champion older miler Grey Goddess (Gods Walk).
Yeomanstown sold her as a yearling at Tattersalls October to a cash buyer for 7,000gns. She was an inspired buy – for the following four racing seasons and through 37 racecourse starts her owners Tom Bennett and Marjorie Easterby, mother of the filly’s trainer Tim (pictured above), enjoyed a fine time with the well-bought filly.
Pipalong’s racecourse debut in April as a two-year-old gave connections an idea of the talent she possessed – she won by a clear 12 lengths at Ripon. Her win next time out at York was a closer affair, she took on Bint Allayl and succeeded by a neck; the placings between the two subsequently reversed in the Queen Mary Stakes (G3) at Royal Ascot.
Tim Easterby’s flying bay filly then went on to finish second in the Cherry Hinton Stakes (G2) at Newmarket to Wannabe Grand, picked up a fourth place in the Listed Oh So Sharp Stakes before collecting the Redcar Two-Year-Old Trophy in October.
At three she ran in some top sprints did not win until August – back at Ripon she beat the colts in the Great St Wilfrid Handicap. Subsequent outings in the Group 1 Sprint Cup and the Ayr Gold Cup did not reap rewards and it was not until the last day of the 1999 Turf season in the 6f Listed Wentworth Stakes at Doncaster that she put her head back in front, the filly relishing her favoured soft ground.
As is so often with sprinters Pipalong produced her best as a four-year-old. She won on her seasonal debut before adding a first Group 3 to her CV with victory in the Palace House Stakes (G3) at Newmarket.
The tough campaigner then hit her form of life through July to September – she finished third behind Agnes World in the July Cup (G1), filled the same placing in the Nunthorpe Stakes (G1) to Nuclear World before her career-defining victory in the Group 1 Sprint Cup ahead of Sampower Star. Her four-year-old season concluded with another Group 1 third this time behind Namid in the Prix de l’Abbaye (G1) at the Arc meeting at Longchamp.
At five, she won the Duke of York Stakes (G2) but then did not trouble the judge again until another third placing in the Prix de l’Abbaye (G1).
As a broodmare she produced three winners headed by Walk On Bye (Danehill Dancer), who won the Anglesey Stakes (G3) and finished third in the Phoenix Stakes (G1).
This year’s 19th running of the Listed mile race run in her name features a talented field of nine fillies and mares aged four years and older.
Thunder Beauty (Night Of Thunder), who was bred by Kildaragh Stud and Michael Downey, comes into the race in fine form after a great second placing at Royal Ascot to Saffron Beach in the Duke Of Cambridge Stakes (G2) for owner David Kelly. He is uncle of Jason Kelly, who is assistant and in charge of the bloodstock purchasing plans for trainer David O’Meara.  
Thunder Beauty had been offered at the Goffs London Sale before the Royal meeting but did not find a purchaser and so has remained in Kelly’s ownership with the target of adding a group race victory to her resume after picking up that first Group 2 placing in June. She holds an entry in the Group 1 Matron Stakes later this year.
Another bred by Kildaragh Stud is the Tom Ward-trained daughter of Holy Roman Emperor, Roman Mist. She also boasts recent Group-placed form with a third in June’s mile Princess Elizabeth Stakes (G3) at Epsom after winning the Listed Snowdrop Stakes at Kempton.
Rising Star (Fast Company) put in her career best when winning Royal Ascot’s mile Kensington Palace Stakes off a handicap mark of 90 for trainer Marco Botti. She is a grand-daughter of Aqaarid (Nashwan), winner of the Fillies’ Mile (G1) and runner-up in the 1,000 Guineas (G1).
Four more fillies who ran in the Kensington Palace Stakes reoppose here, headed by the five-year-old Dubai Love (Night Of Thunder). She finished seventh at Royal Ascot, which was a fine effort as she was caught wide throughout. She is out of the Dylan Thomas mare Devotion, bred by Petches Farm and was bought by Godolphin for 120,000gns at the Tattersalls December Foal Sale 2017.
The Floors Farming and Ors Bloodstock-bred Rosemary And Thyme (Camelot), who finished 13th at the Royal meeting, has made big strides without winning since her last success at Lingfield of a BHA mark of just 69 in April 2021.
Alan and Susie Gray’s homebred five-year-old filly Ffion (Sepoy) was 15th at Royal Ascot after success on her seasonal debut at Chester in May. She is a consistent sort and has won or placed eight times in 12 starts. She is from a family that stetches back to the top miler and two-year-old filly Marling.
Serenading (Iffraaj), bred and owned by Manor Farm and John Rose, beat just one home at Royal Ascot and this is her first step into Listed class company. She finished fourth in a competitive fillies’ handicap at Ascot in May. She was an expensive yearling and the breeders bought her back at a much-reduced price at the Tattersalls Ascot March Sale in 2019.
The Godolphin-bred George Boughey-trained contender Romantic Rival (Shamardal) was purchased by Stephen Hillen Bloodstock for €110,000 at the Arqana December Sale 2021, the winning filly previously trained in France. She has not yet been competitive in two outings at stakes level for her new trainer but did win a fillies’ handicap at Kempton last time out.
Her connections are keen to try and add some black-type to an already impressive pedigree – her dam Sense Of Fun is a sister to the Group 1 Prix Jean Prat winner Aesop's Fables (Distorted Humor) the pair out of Abhisheka (Sadler’s Wells). She was closely related to the unbeaten, three-time Group 1 winner Lammtarra (Nijinsky).
The Ken Condon-trained Let’s (Shalaa) is looking to convert Listed placed form to winning form having finished fourth last time out in the Listed Queen Of Scots Stakes at Musselburgh. She was a €42,000 KF Bloodstock purchase at the Goffs Sportsman Sale in 2019. She has won twice in 20 starts, last time successful in a Limerick handicap in June 2021.