For fans of undefeated I Am Invincible mare Marabi, the Group I MRC Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on Saturday vindicated what all of us had been thinking for some time and that was that she was a serious Group I class sprinter.
Prepared by Ciaron Maher and David Eustace, five year-old Marabi has been racing for just on a year, winning her debut on February 11 last year before a steady progression through the lower grades.
She won her first stakes race on Boxing Day, then the Group II MVRC Australia Stakes by nearly three lengths earning her favouritism for her first tilt at an elite sprint.
Marabi did not disappoint, she stalked the leader Malkovich under Ben Allen and dashed clear down the running before holding off a late charge from stablemate Away Game to win by half a length in a blistering 1:02.23, just half a second outside the track record.
“Greg Perry puts a lot into breeding and he’s got a lot of mares and just loves his racing. He’s very patient and very easy to train for so it’s great to get rewarded with a horse like this,” said Ciaron Maher.
“And for Ben Allen, he had to really get down and get busy, get the weight off. For him to be rewarded with a Group 1 is super, he does a lot of work for the stable.”
Ben Allen has been on Marabi in six of her seven wins building a great association with the flying mare that has won over $900,000 in prizemoney..
“Greg Perry was very staunch, he’s very loyal. Actually if it was even lighter he was going to let Ben ride it so congratulations to him,” Maher added.
“I suppose the pressure builds every start now but it’s a good problem to have. She’s a fantastic mare and we’ll just let the dust settle.
“This was the target and we’ll go from there.”
A homebred for Greg Perry that was foaled and raised at Vinery, Marabi is a half-sister to Group I VRC Oaks winner Aristia from Group II winning Tiger Hill (IRE) mare Nakaaya, who died in 2020 and has only one other daughter, an unraced Flying Artie three year-old filly called Siteki that has also been retained by Mr Perry.
Marabi is the eleventh Group I winner for Yarraman Park’s champion sire I Am Invincible, who is sitting at the top of the Australian General Sires List by earnings and winners.