Unbeaten mare set for Christmas Stakes at Caulfield

Unbeaten mare Marabi will be given her chance at adding ‘black type’ to her record when she runs in the Christmas Stakes at Caulfield.

In a reshaping of the summer sprints over December and January, the Boxing Day feature will this year be run over 1100m having been staged over 1200m previously.

The winner of the Listed race will gain a ballot exemption into the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield in February.

Unbeaten in four starts, the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained five-year-old is ready to take the next step according to Maher.

Marabi made it four straight wins when she resumed with a seven-length romp at Ballarat on November 20, then showed her fitness with a jump-out victory at Cranbourne on December 13.

A five-year-old daughter of I Am Invincible, Marabi did not start racing until February this year, winning her first three starts by a combined total of 19-½ lengths.

Maher explained that Marabi was very soft in the knees and to compound those issues took the “wing” off a hip in an accident.

“She had to have some time off to get over that and it was a blessing in disguise really,” Maher said.

“It let her fill out a bit, it let her knees mature.

“She took a while to come to hand this time in and she wasn’t showing a lot in trackwork, when I say a lot, she wasn’t showing us what she showed us first-up.

“She went there to Ballarat and then the other day she trialled impressively and that’s more like what she is, she’s usually pretty straight forward.

“It’s the right time to give her a try at black type.”

Maher and Eustace are also likely to start Away Game in the Christmas Stakes as a lead-up to the filly heading to the Gold Coast for the Magic Millions meeting.

Away Game won the Magic Millions 2YO Classic in 2020 and followed up earlier this year running third in the Magic Millions 3YO Guineas.

The daughter of Snitzel has not raced since finishing sixth to Jonker in the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at The Valley in October.

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