The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
Ciaron Maher & David Eustace’s undefeated mare Marabi stamped herself as a genuine Group 1 contender this Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival with an emphatic victory in the 2022 Australia Stakes at Moonee Valley.
The five-year-old daughter of I Am Invincible extended her unbeaten streak to six straight and comprehensively answered the Group 2 question with a runaway weight-for-age victory in the $350,000 Australia Stakes (1200m).
Rising in grade, Marabi looked in a league of her own with Ben Allen giving her the perfect rail-hugging ride to lead all-the-way and win by a big margin in one of the most impressive performances of the year to date.
Brilliant out of the gates, the mare went straight to the front and displayed a sensational turn of foot when kicking away at the 250m.
It was daylight between the heavily-backed favourite and the field from then, Marabi responding in exciting fashion when Alley hit the button sprinting away to reward the patience from the Maher/Eustace team.
After missing the kick, Anthony & Sam Freedman’s Irish import Sinawann was excellent late flying home for a distant second.
In third rounding out the Australia Stakes trifecta was Maddie Raymond’s Let’s Elope Stakes winner from the spring Turaath second-up.
The team had been concerned pre-race about the Soft track conditions, with co-trainer Eustace shocked how easily the mare handled the give out of the ground on the big stage.
“We were very worried about the track she’s trained on it quite a lot…and she hasn’t performed all that well on it…but we needn’t have been,” he told Racing.com.
“We (Allen and I) had a good walk of it (the track) we felt that hard on the fence was the place to be.
“Credit to her and credit to the team at home. She’s been up a little while, she’s had her run spaced…they’ve done a great job with her.
“I think she’s proved today at weight-for-age she’s very smart.
“You don’t think you’re going to win races of this calibre by this far…she’s beaten a decent field.
“She couldn’t have been any more impressive.”
A genuine flying machine, the autumn richest now look at Marabi’s disposal with the Group 1 $750,000 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on February 26 her likely first elite level assignment.
“She just proved today she was a class above,” Allen said.
“She can just break their hearts, she kicks off where the others struggle.
“She’s a good mare.
“The Oakleigh Plate will be next for her and hopefully she creeps up in the points and I can ride her.”
2022 Australia Stakes Results
|1||10||MARABI||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Ben Allen||3||56.5kg||$1.80F|
|2||6||SINAWANN (IRE)||Anthony & Sam Freedman||Craig Williams||2.75L||1||58.5kg||$8|
|3||9||TURAATH (GB)||Maddie Raymond||Damian Lane||3.05L||9||56.5kg||$9.50|
|4||12||LIGHTSABER||Peter G Moody||Ms Jamie Kah||3.55L||6||55kg||$13|
|5||1||STREETS OF AVALON||Shane Nichols||Brett Prebble||3.75L||4||58.5kg||$12|
|6||11||MARIAMIA||Shane Stockdale||Blaike McDougall||4.05L||10||56.5kg||$61|
|7||2||WILD PLANET||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Jye McNeil||4.55L||8||58.5kg||$11|
|8||4||JUST FOLK||Josh Julius||John Allen||4.85L||2||58.5kg||$31|
|9||3||ORDER OF COMMAND||Danny O’Brien||Damien Oliver||8.6L||5||58.5kg||$31|
|10||5||VAINSTREAM||John Pascoe||Craig Newitt||11.1L||11||58.5kg||$91|
|11||7||GAME KEEPER||Tony & Calvin McEvoy||Jordan Childs||31.1L||7||58.5kg||$101|
|8||FORBIDDEN LOVE||Richard & Michael Freedman||Mark Zahra||0|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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