Newmarket Park Owner: Mariamia needs Lady Luck in TJ Smith Stakes

Mariamia wins the Galaxy
Mariamia and Tyler Schiller combined for a comfortable one-length victory in the Galaxy last start. But with a wide barrier, extra weight and up against an all-star Group 1 field, Mariamia will have to step up in the TJ Smith Stakes at Randwick on Saturday. Picture: Steve Hart.

Lady Luck smiled on Mariamia last start and she took her good fortune, but the mare’s circumstances will be different in the TJ Smith Stakes at Randwick on Saturday.

The six-year-old has drawn barrier 13 and will carry 56.5kg after her brilliant victory in the Galaxy over 1100m at Rosehill on March 18.

There, she had the No.2 lane and hauled just 51kg, with both her and Tyler Schiller combining to bring up their first Group 1 win.

Schiller will be aboard again this weekend, his mount a $34 winning outsider according to betting sites.


The TJ Smith Stakes will be a who’s who of Group 1 sprinters – Giga Kick ($4.60), Nature Strip ($5.50), In Secret ($6), I Wish I Win ($7) and stablemate Private Eye ($8) are the ones to beat.

As a result, Newmarket Park owner John Kelly is not getting too excited about the chances of his progressive short-distance runner.

But he also knows she’s got all the attributes to challenge for a second successive elite-level triumph.

“She always jumps in front. She’ll travel nicely in a race and if you just give her a chance to finish off, she’s been doing that very well, hasn’t she?” he told

“She can travel up in a race really well.

“She’ll just have to come across and find a spot, and we’ll just give her a chance to finish it off.”

Kelly was delighted with Mariamia’s turn of foot from the final furlong in her one-length victory over Uncommon James in the Galaxy.

It again underlined Joe Pride’s expertise in getting the best out of tried horses after she went to the Warwick Farm conditioner’s stable 28 starts into her career.

“We were very thrilled. She ran a great race and had a nice barrier, light weight and a bit of luck, so everything went her way,” he said.

“He’s a very good trainer, Joe Pride. He just looks after them, and keeps them healthy and fit.

“And they run well for him. We’re pretty lucky.”

Pride mentioned Mariamia achieved her on-track potential following her Group 1-level win last start, and Kelly revealed Mariamia might go to stud after her weekend assignment.

It will be the fifth start of an impressive preparation which also saw her salute in the Group 2 Expressway Stakes, after a first-up salute at Benchmark 88 level on January 14.

“A lot will depend after Saturday,” Kelly said.

“She’ll probably end up going to stud this year, but you never say never.”

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