Ben Allen celebrates Marabi's Australia Stakes win (Image: Racing Photos)
Greg Perry has bred and raced some star racehorses but he admits he’s never had a horse like unbeaten mare Marabi.
Speaking on Monday’s After The Last on Racing.com, Perry reflected on the emergence of his homebred daughter of I Am Invincible, who took her record to six wins from as many starts with a demolition of her rivals in Saturday’s Group 2 Australia Stakes at The Valley.
Perry, who has bred Blue Diamond winner Artorius and VRC Oaks winner Aristia – Marabi’s older half-sister – in recent seasons, said his newest pride and joy had already given him one of his biggest thrills.
“I’ve never seen a horse quite like her to be honest and I’m not just saying that because I own her and bred her,” Perry said.
“She starting to show that she can do things which are only done by special horses.
“I’ve bred a couple of nice ones, I’m not just saying that, but she seems the most exciting.”
WATCH: Greg Perry on After The Last.
Marai didn’t debut until her four-year-old season and Perry said that, despite several unfortunate setbacks, the patient approach adopted by Ciaron Maher and David Eustace had potentially been the making of the mare.
She is the $2.50 favourite with Sportsbet to win next month’s Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) and Perry said the Sangster Stakes (1200m) in Adelaide in May also loomed as an attractive option.
“She was quite immature as a young horse – she entered Ciaron’s stables in July just as she was about to turn two but was pretty blocky and hadn’t really taken shape,” he said.
“The guys were very good, they gave her some time and educated her but then during her late two-year-old year she developed some issues in behind so we had to give her more time then.
“She came back into work and everything was going swimmingly and one day she walked out of her box at Ballarat and, I think the technical term is she busted the wing off her hip so she had to have another three or four months off.
“But as Ciaron said, it was probably the making of her because it just gave her time for her knees to mature.”
Marabi is out of Perry’s Tiger Hill mare Nakaaya, who died in 2020.
As well as Marabi and Aristia, Nakaaya has four other named progeny, including $500,000 yearling Ruddock and Siteki, an unraced Flying Artie filly in training with Mornington horseman Cliff Brown.
“She’s out of a mare called Nakaaya, who won a Sunline Stakes,” he said.
“Nakaaya’s foals have all been different shapes but obviously two of them are exceptional racehorses so it’s a great outcome.
“I was always intent on retaining a filly out of her and Marabi was always immature and she was by I Am Invincible – I like the mating – so I was always intent on keeping her.”
WATCH: Marabi wins the Australia Stakes