Imelda Mary and Queen Of Diamonds will share this season’s New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year title following the running of the last event in the 10 race series, Saturday’s Group 1 New Zealand Oaks.
The two fillies went in to the 2400m Trentham feature equal on 18 points and neither horse could add to their total after both were unplaced behind Oaks winner Sentimental Miss.
Imelda Mary won two races in the series, the Group 2 Royal Stakes and Group 2 Sir Tristram Fillies Classic, and was also placed third in the Group 2 Lowland Stakes. Queen Of Diamonds also won two of the races, the Group 3 Eulogy Stakes and Group 2 Lowland Stakes, and was also third in both the Group 2 Eight Carat Classic and Group 2 Sir Tristram Fillies Classic.
Queen Of Diamonds and Imelda Mary come from opposite ends of the New Zealand thoroughbred breeding spectrum.
Queen Of Diamonds is a royally-bred filly by Savabeel out of the Danehill mare Love Diamonds and was a $640,000 purchase from the premier session of the 2017 Karaka yearling sales. She is owned by the China Horse Club. Imelda Mary is by the ill-fated sire Ferlax out of the Encosta de Lago mare Eleesha and cost only $3500 from the festival session of the same sale. She is raced by her Matamata trainer Wayne Hillis along with a couple of close friends, Chris Delamore and Ross Robertson, and is named after the trainer’s mother.