The money continues to roll in for Annabel...
Ciaron Maher & David Eustace’s undefeated mare Marabi faces her biggest test to date fresh as the odds-on favourite in Saturday’s 2022 Australia Stakes field at Moonee Valley.
The five-year-old daughter of I Am Invincible remains lightly-raced with five wins from as many starts ahead of the lucrative Group 2 $350,000 Australia Stakes (1200m) at The Valley.
The field is down to 11 runners with the early scratching of the rails-drawn Forbidden Love (1) who instead takes on star colt Anamoe in Sydney’s Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) twenty minutes earlier.
Her withdrawal sees Marabi move into barrier three with Ben Allen coming back aboard.
Allen rode the progressive mare to victory in her opening four career starts, including a seven-length romp home at Ballarat in a Benchmark70 two back carting 60.5kg in November.
She raced again on Boxing Day at Caulfield with Jamie Kah in the saddle for Marabi’s first Black-Type triumph over Away Game in the Listed Christmas Stakes (1100m).
At weight-for-age in the Australia Stakes she will carry 56.5kg and is a two-time winner at the track further adding to her advantage.
The last Australia Stakes odds online at Ladbrokes.com.au have her at a short $1.85 and firming to remain unbeaten.
The danger occupying the second line of Australia Stakes betting this season is Peter Moody’s early market mover Lightsaber ($9 into $7) also racing first-up.
A consistent Zoustar colt, Lightsaber is out to be just the second three-year-old along with Holler (2016) to win the Australia Stakes since the victory by then filly Black Caviar in 2010.
He is four-from-nine ahead of his first Moonee Valley assignment and has form around Anamoe having run a credible fourth behind the subsequent Cox Plate runner-up on the back of his Prelude victory.
Currently the other runners at single-figure Australia Stakes odds looking for an upset are Sinawann ($8) now jumping from the inside alley with Craig Williams aboard, the Shane Nichols-trained Streets Of Avalon ($9.50) into gate four for Brett Prebble and the Maddie Raymond-trained Turaath.
Five-year-old Kingman entire Sinawann has his third start in Australia, the Irish import last seen winning Caulfield’s Group 3 Kevin Heffernan Stakes (1400m) last November.
It’s been a little longer since Streets Of Avalon – third in the Kevin Heffernan – last won, the now seven-year-old looking to salute for the first time since his Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m) victory last February.
Oasis Dream mare Turaath meanwhile is out to build on her good record from last campaign that was headlined by a Group 2 Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m) win over Mystic Journey at Flemington.
She presents fit second-up off a fifth in the Group 3 Standish Handicap (1200m) a fortnight back when under two lengths off the winner Halvorsen, but is yet to race at Moonee Valley.
2022 Australia Stakes Field & Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||7x2875483x||STREETS OF AVALON||Shane Nichols||Brett Prebble||5||58.5kg||108|
|2||x81910x20x||WILD PLANET||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Jye McNeil||9||58.5kg||106|
|3||x329x9808x||ORDER OF COMMAND||Danny O’Brien||Damien Oliver||6||58.5kg||99|
|4||401232516x||JUST FOLK||Josh Julius||John Allen||3||58.5kg||100|
|5||x3888x6064||VAINSTREAM||John Pascoe||Craig Newitt||12||58.5kg||84|
|6||32x343x61x||SINAWANN (IRE)||Anthony & Sam Freedman||Craig Williams||2||58.5kg||108|
|7||1x336063x0||GAME KEEPER||Tony & Calvin McEvoy||Jordan Childs||8||58.5kg||94|
|8||107x47830x||FORBIDDEN LOVE||Richard & Michael Freedman||Mark Zahra||1||56.5kg||102|
|9||0x321111x5||TURAATH (GB)||Maddie Raymond||Damian Lane||10||56.5kg||102|
|10||111×11||MARABI||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Ben Allen||4||56.5kg||97|
|11||x932031348||MARIAMIA||Shane Stockdale||Blaike McDougall||11||56.5kg||71|
|12||1119x6414x||LIGHTSABER||Peter G Moody||Ms Jamie Kah||7||55kg||90|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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