Hibaayeb shed her maiden tag in the best possible way, driving up the rail under Neil Callan to win the Meon Valley Stud Fillies’ Mile (Eng-I) at Ascot Sept. 26.
The winning duo had to survive a lengthy stewards’ inquiry, however, as Hibaayeb drifted to the left once she got in front, causing Michael Hills to snatch up Sent From Heaven. At the same time, Lady Darshaan was making a bold move on the outside under Richard Hughes, and was struck on the nose by Callan’s whip.
Despite the interference, the results stood, with Hibaayeb remaining the winner by three-quarters of a length over Lady Darshaan. You’ll Be Mine just got up for third, finishing another 1 ½-lengths back.
Final time for the eight furlongs was 1:39.78 over the good turf course. The going was upgraded to ‘good to firm’ after this race.
Hibaayeb entered the Fillies’ Mile off of a strong second-place showing in the DFS May Hill Stakes (Eng-II) at Doncaster in her last start, losing to Pollenator by just a half-length.
The victory by Hibaayeb marked trainer Clive Brittain’s third win in the race, following Ivanka in 1992 and Teggiano in 1999. A delighted Brittain told reporters after the race, “Not many people try to win a group I with a maiden, but in my eyes she had already run two races that she could have won.”
Hibaayeb is now guaranteed a spot in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies’ Turf at Santa Anita on Nov. 6, and Brittain mentioned that a start there will be discussed. “She is progressing, which is the most important thing, but I don’t want to gallop her into the ground,” he told reporters.
“She has got a future and could go to America. I will have to talk to the owners, but it will depend on the filly – it is easier listening to animals as they tell you more than people.”
Hibaayeb is a 2-year-old filly by Singspiel out of the winning Lion Cavern mare, Lady Zonda. Bred in England by Rabbah Bloodstock, Hibaayeb hails from the female family of champions Oh So Sharp and Shantou.