Racing News

Newhaven joy as online buy Mariamia claims Galaxy

Newhaven Park will feel vindicated in their decision to snap up Mariamia (Toronado) for $335,000 in an Inglis Digital auction last April, after the six-year-old mare added significantly more to her value when claiming a maiden Group 1 success in yesterday’s Galaxy (Gr 1, 1100m) at Rosehill.

Her victory handed her Swettenham Stud sire Toronado (High Chaparral) back-to-back winners of The Galaxy, after Shelby Sixtysix claimed victory a year ago, as she became the stallion’s fourth individual Group 1 winner. 

Mariamia, an $18,000 yearling buy when sold at the 2018 Inglis Melbourne Premier sale, has made astonishing progress since being switched by her new connections to the stable of Joe Pride a year ago, and capped her rise into the elite echelons of Australian racing with an authoritative success in the Group 1 handicap sprint. 

In a furiously run race, Mariamia tracked the pacesetting Eduardo (Host), the 2021 winner of the Galaxy, on the rails, before sneaking up the inside and staying on best to win by just short of a length in a time of 1:03.02. 

Queensland raider Uncommon James (Cable Bay) finished second, with Cannonball (Capitalist) holding on for third having followed Mariamia on the inside. 

Mariamia was ridden by apprentice Tyler Schiller, who claimed a first Group 1 win of his career, in what was an emotional success for the 24-year-old. 

“My dad, he’s got cancer, all he wanted to see was me to win a Group 1 and to come out and do it today, it was unreal,” Schiller said.

“It’s the best feeling in the world, to do it on a mare like that. She’s come through the grades really sharply and Joe [Pride] has turned her around but, gee, she’s a good mare.

“I am very grateful to Joe and the connections for putting me on. I can’t believe I won a Group 1.”

Mariamia earned four wins to Benchmark 70 level from 28 starts prior to joining Pride’s Warwick Farm stable, but since her purchase by John Kelly’s Newhaven Park Stud has bagged four wins in nine outings, including victory in the Expressway Stakes (Gr 2, 1200m) in January. She was beaten as the $1.80 favourite in the Millie Fox Stakes (Gr 2, 1300m) leading into the Galaxy. 

“We specialise in taking these horses on that maybe need a little bit of rejuvenating, getting the right people around them and I just relish the task of taking on a horse who maybe someone else has given up on,” said Pride, who expressed his delight at handing Schiller a milestone first Group 1 winner.

“He rode more winners for me last season than anyone else and to be able to give him a reward like that, it’ll be pretty special for him, and it’s certainly special for us,” said Pride. 

Bred by Adam Sangster and sold as a yearling by Swettenham Stud, Mariamia (6 m Toronado – Quinta Lago by Encosta De Lago) is the third foal of four out of the unplaced mare Quinta Lago (Encosta De Lago), herself a sister to three-time stakes placegetter Halekulani and a half-sister to Livia (Galileo), the dam of VRC Derby (Gr 1, 2500m) winner Warning (Declaration Of War). 

Swettenham Stud stallion Toronado, who has had 618 starters for 32 stakes winners, stood last year for a fee of $88,000 (inc GST), covering 150 mares. 

Brilliant Anamoe thrills in George Ryder

Godolphin’s surprise decision to target Anamoe (4 h Street BossAnamato by Redoute’s Choice) at the George Ryder Stakes (Gr 1, 1500m) instead of the Ranvet Stakes (Gr 1, 2000m) on the same card proved vindicated, when the champion racehorse notched his ninth Group 1 success in exhilarating style.

Sent off the $1.80 favourite in the 11-runner field, Anamoe overcame a wide run from the outside barrier to power his way to the front with 100 metres remaining, before holding off the late charge of Fangirl (Sebring) to win by a long neck.

Converge (Frankel), who led for the majority of the contest, was nosed out for second, while last-start Canterbury Stakes (Gr 1, 1300m) winner Artorius (Flying Artie) finished fourth, three-quarters of a length from the winner.

Anamoe’s Group 1 victories have often arrived with effortless class, however the son of Street Boss (Street Cry) was made to work to claim a first George Ryder Stakes win, having endured a three-wide passage to the line.

Yet the colt demonstrated an imperious toughness to complement his unquestionable ability.

“He was in for the fight today,” winning trainer James Cummings said. “I don’t think he’s at his best on really hot days where he sweats freely in the yard, but he was still very fit third-up, we kept him sharp for the 1500 [metres] and he’s a real danger stepping up to the 2000 [metres] next time. 

“He’s going to go into the Queen Elizabeth undefeated this campaign. These are good horses in the George Ryder, it’s a time-honoured race and we’ve got to be pleased with the horse.” 

Anamoe will face off with yesterday’s British-trained Ranvet Stakes  winner Dubai Honour (Pride Of Dubai) in what’s set to be a mouthwatering renewal of the Queen Elizabeth Stakes (Gr 1, 2000m) at Randwick on April 8. 

The Godolphin-owned champion failed to fire in the feature Group 1 a year ago, finishing ninth of nine. 

Cummings said he was humbled by the reception given to Anamoe by the 21,000-strong crowd at Rosehill. 

“For Anamoe to have a following is a special thing,” he added. “We are so focused on the horse and the process, we don’t spend too much time dwelling on that. But it is the beauty of turning on a day like today with a big crowd and you get blown away by the atmosphere.” 

Mr Brightside hands Hayes brothers All-Star Mile victory

Fan favourite Mr Brightside (Bullbars) cemented his place further into Victorian racing folklore by winning yesterday’s All-Star Mile (1600m) at Moonee Valley. 

The Ben and JD Hayes-trained five-year-old claimed the $5 million showpiece by a half-length ahead of the fast-finishing Cascadian (New Approach) and Tasmanian raider The Inevitable (Dundeel), who came home a length behind the winner in third. 

Alligator Blood (All Too Hard), $2.70 favourite, finished fourth as his challenge dissipated in the straight. 

Mr Brightside, last year’s Doncaster Mile (Gr 1, 1600m) winner, landed his biggest prize pot with Luke Currie in the saddle, who deputised for the injured Craig Williams. 

“He jumped ok and landed on Alligator Blood back and then the way the race panned out he was back in behind Nugget on the fence,” the winning rider said.

“When Daniel Moor got going [on I’m Thunderstruck at the 600-metre mark] the field bunched a bit and I was able to then come off [the fence] and then decide whether to follow Alligator Blood through or come out and have a good clear run and follow I’m Thunderstruck around them, which I elected to do.

“Blake [Shinn, on Alligator Blood] weaved a bit of magic and got his way through, and I thought, ‘it might be all over from there’. But, my horse, when he caught it, I knew he was in for the fight, and he was too strong today.”

Mr Brightside, who finished fourth on 9,661 in the public vote conducted last month to win participation into the All-Star Mile, earned Ben and JD Hayes their first Group 1 victory as a partnership when winning the Doncaster Mile, and the five-year-old added another accolade to their trophy haul. 

“I’m still pinching myself, it’s just a huge thrill,” JD Hayes said. “We’re having a bit of a purple patch at the moment and hopefully it can keep going.

“This horse is just a beautiful animal; he wears his heart on his sleeve and he just tries so hard.

“It was a ten-out-of-ten ride by Luke Currie. Commiserations to Craig Williams, he’s put so much work into him and we had him right on the right day.”

Mr Brightside (5 g Bullbars – Lilahjay by Tavistock) fetched $22,000 as a yearling before selling to New Zealand-based trainer Robert Manning for $7,750 on Gavelhouse. He was then bought by an ownership group with the Hayes brothers via agent Wayne Ormond.

Yesterday’s success took his record to ten wins from 22 starts and more than $5.8 million in prize-money.