Banan Queen (So You Think) wins the Gr.3 Tibbie Stakes at Newcastle

So You Think Mare Wins G3 Tibbie

Gerald Ryan and Sterling Alexiou have always had a good opinion of Banana Queen (5m So You Think x Tropicana Lady, by Fastnet Rock) and the only thing that surprised them about her stylish win in the $250,000 Group III Tibbie Stakes (1400m) at Newcastle on Friday is that her first Black Type win would come as a five year-old.

Banana Queen won a metro maiden at her second start back in November 2021 beating another quality filly in Finepoint and earlier this year hit a purple patch when reeling off three metro wins in a row.

Fit and ready to fire at her fourth run back from a spell in this assignment after a fourth in the Listed Mona Lisa, she was ridden a treat by Kerrin McEvoy and sported a nose roll for the first time. She had a lovely run in transit and when popped into the clear after straightening for home was too good in the run to the line winning by more than a length.

“When she came back in this time we set her for Wyong (Mona Lisa) and today and if she failed it was off to stud,” said Gerald Ryan.

“Her first two runs back I really liked her but I thought she was too close to the lead, then last time Dylan (Gibbons) rode her terrific but the gaps kept opening up and he found himself in front at the top of the straight, so I said to Kerrin today, just ride her with cover, I’d sooner see her hitting the line and getting beaten than being in front and falling in a hole.

“It’s great for Pat (Arcella), who bred her and raced her mother and has the whole family. He’s been chasing Black Type with her for ages and to be perfectly honest I thought she would have won a Black Type race before she was five!”

A homebred for Arcella Thoroughbreds, Banana Queen has the overall record of five wins and three placings from 15 starts with prizemoney topping $340,000.

She is a three-quarter sister to Group III placed Vanuatu and is the best of six winners from six foals to race from unraced Fastnet Rock mare Tropicana Lady, a full sister to Group I winner Irish Lights, the dam of Group II winner Omei Sword and stakes-winner Lipizzaner.

Banana Queen is the 54th stakes-winner for Coolmore’s outstanding sire So You Think, who has been runner-up for the last two seasons to I Am Invincible on the Australian General Sires List.