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Chicita Banana having a pick of grass at Manor House Farm Stud in 2015Chicita Banana having a pick of grass at Manor House Farm Stud in 2015We first saw Chicita Banana, or "Banana" as we call her, at Doncaster in 2009 running in the first race of the year ie. The Brocklesby. She had been bought as a yearling for 60,000 guineas and was being trained by George Baker. They obviously thought something of her as she went off joint third favourite at 7/1 ahead in the betting of our Hearts Of Fire who promptly bolted in at 12/1. Banana finished 7th of 19 but did go on to win her next race at Bath over 5f and did run in the Group 3 Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot but well down the field.

Whatever, a few years later we bought her and her first foal turned out to be James Ortega Bloodstock's first winner in Robynelle a filly by Royal Applause who reached a rating of 72 herself which was better than Banana who managed only 69. Banana's second foal was also a filly by Kyllachy called Banana Split who was bought by Julia & Gregor Baum of Gestut Brummerhof. Banana Split won well at Baden Baden on her debut and was very close to black type when running in both Germany and France in her two year old career. At three she did not win but did achieve black type when third at Hoppegarten in Germany over 6f in a listed race and so became the second James Ortega Bloodstock bred horse to win black type. She was rated 90 and was sold for 34,000 guineas at the Tattersalls 2016 December Sales destined to become a broodmare in the UK with her first cover by Showcasing in 2017 resulting in a filly. She went to very promising stallion Sea The Moon in 2018 and produced a filly before being sent to visit Intello in 2019.

Banana's third foal is also a filly by Cape Cross and very closely related to Banana's half sister Joviality who won the Group 2 Windsor Forest Stakes at Royal Ascot over 8f and also the Group 3 Musidora at York over 10.5f and is also by Cape Cross. This filly sold to Simon Crisford in 2015 as a yearling for 38,000 guineas is called Dainty's Daughter but she did not run and was retired to be a broodmare and is in the capable hands of Whatton Manor Stud after being covered by Dariyan in 2018 and subsequently producing a filly foal. In 2019 she was covered by Lightning Spear.

Finally Banana had a colt in 2015 with a foal by Nathaniel who was sold to Andrew Balding at the Tattersalls December Yearling Sale for 25,000 guineas and has been named Perfect Illusion. Banana's half brother Bonfire was also trained by Andrew Balding and finished sixth in The Derby. In January 2018 Perfect Illusion made his debut at Lingfield and romped home by 12 lengths over 12f. He won again over course and distance in February but his form rather tailed off and he has achieved a top rating of 88 to date. Banana has a 2016 colt by Charm Spirit who sold for 18,000 guineas at the yearling sales and is now called Old Colonial in training with John Joseph Murphy. Old Colonial has run three times to date and improved every run receiving an initial rating of 65. Unfortunately Banana did not get in foal after a couple of visits to Sepoy in 2016 and as it was late in the season we decided to give her a rest until 2017 when she visited Awtaad at Derrinstown Stud and produced a bay colt by that first season sire. He sold for £13,500 to Ali & Sam Stronge and Select Bloodstock when they purchased him at the Tattersalls Ascot Yearling Sale in 2019. In 2018 she visited Bated Breath who sired Group winner Beckford who himself is out of a Danehill Dancer mare as is Banana and she has produced a filly foal. In 2019 Banana has returned to Charm Spirit and is in foal to him carrying a full brother or sister to Old Colonial.

Banana's dam is a Night Shift mare called Night Frolic (out of Miss D'Ouilly) who was part of the Highclere broodmare band. Besides Joviality, Banana is a half sister to Bonfire who won the Group 2 Dante at York and set off second favourite behind Camelot for The Derby but finished a disappointing 6th with doubts about suitability of track and distance. Bonfire ran in Australia trained by Gai Waterhouse and won a stakes race down under. Other siblings have not done so well on the track although Shadwell paid 200,000 guineas for Banana's New Approach half brother called Marqoom in 2015 but he looked decidedly one-paced in his career until end of 2018 and was moderate. Night Frolic has a 2016 colt by Shamardal called Monsieur Noir who is rated 84 and has won as a 3yo and a 2017 colt by Golden Horn named Trebizond. She was not covered in 2017 and then visited Lope De Vega in 2018.

Another half sister, 2011 Nayef mare Beach Frolic, has a 2015 colt by Exceed and Excel called Bin Daahir (who did not set the world alight in a few runs in 2017), a 2016 filly by Invincible Spirit called Talweej who sold for 650k guineas at the yearling sales and a 2017 colt by Kingman who sold for 600k guineas at the yearling sales. This colt is called Palace Pier and stormed home on his debut to win by over 3 lengths with an RPR of 90. He then followed up with another win by over four lengths being eased down and is rated 98. He has an entry for the Group 1 Classic Irish 2,000 Guineas and looks very smart. 2018 saw her foal a Camelot colt before visiting new stallion Highland Reel and producing another colt. The 2012 half sister by Dansili called The Madding Crowd is also a broodmare and has a 2017 colt by Iffraaj (sold for 190k guineas and in training with Hugo Palmer)a 2018 filly by Harzand before a cover by Postponed.

Night Frolic has a few half sisters as broodmares including Demisemiquaver who has already produced smart animals such as Makafeh, Lyn Valley and Rare Rhythm and now has a 2016 colt by Oasis Dream called Oasis Prince (highest rating 96) and a 2017 colt by Cable Bay. After a year off the track, Rare Rhythm won the Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes over 12f at Royal Ascot in June 2017 and then won the listed John Smith's Silver Cup at York before winning a Group 3 at Meydan in his next appearance in March 2018.

Probably the broodmare that has left the most significant mark on the family to date is Night Frolic's older sister Miss Caerleona. By Caerleon, she has produced USA group winners Miss Coronado and Karen's Caper as well as unraced Miss Kilroy who in turn has produced Abbys Angel and Group 1 placed Miss Jean Brodie. Miss Kilroy had a black type performer in Cara Marie who is now a broodmare and had a 2017 filly by Speightstown, has a useful 2015 winning colt by Distorted Humor called Kilroy Was Here, a 2017 filly by Will Take Charge and a 2018 filly by Street Sense. Abbys Angel has produced three winners by Distorted Humor including 2013 gelding Comicas who has won four races and won a Group 3 and Group 1 placed. Miss Jean Brodie has a 2013 mare by Dubawi called Catchphrase who is a broodmare with a 2018 colt by Fascinating Rock and a 2019 colt by Teofilo before re-visiting Fascinating Rock, and a 2014 winning colt by Shamardal called Scots Piper who won a race. Unfortunately Miss Jean Brodie died on foaling to Dubawi in 2016. Karen's Caper produced Group 3 winning Kinglet and has a 2016 colt by Frankel called Casanova who has won two races and reached a rating high of 97 as well as a 2017 colt by New Approach called Kings Caper who has won three times and reached 99. She had an Iffraaj filly in 2019 and then visited Zoustar. Miss Coronado produced Group 1 placed Arethusa (now a broodmare with a  2017 colt by Dubawi called Poet's Mind rated 81 after two runs) and has a 2015 winning filly by Bernadini called Divine MercyThere are other broodmares from this part of the family operating in the USA and South America and clearly we can expect plenty of updates on the page from this direction.

In conclusion, an active high class family both under Banana's dam and also under her half sisters both in the UK and in the USA and with many mares visiting leading stallions we can hope for plenty more black type to come!