Mariamia upsets Expressway big guns

Mariamia has claimed the scalps of two Group 1 winners in the Expressway Stakes.

Joe Pride doesn't like to deviate from a plan but his belated decision to start Mariamia in the Expressway Stakes has paid handsome dividends with the mare landing her maiden black-type win in emphatic fashion. 

When just four original nominations were received for Saturday's Group 2 sprint, Pride threw in a late entry for Mariamia, hoping she could manage another stakes placing against the likes of Group 1 winners Golden Mile and Forbidden Love

Instead, Mariamia turned in the best performance of her career, unleashing a sharp turn of foot at the 1 f to burst clear, downing Golden Mile by 2-3/4 lengths and maintaining her unbeaten Rosehill record. 

"I don't like afterthoughts but this is one of the better afterthoughts I've had," Pride said. 

"I was going to be happy with a top-three finish. 

"I was hoping for a bit more rain around, get a bit of the sting out (of the track). I didn't expect her to give them a bit of a touch-up. 

"She's gone to a level that she never has before." 

Mariamia has been twice placed in Group 3 company and that was almost enough for owner John Kelly of Newhaven Park Stud to retire her to the broodmare barn in the spring. 

Pride convinced him to give her another season and the Toronado six-year-old is now worth significantly more as a Group 2 winner, although Pride hopes she isn't finished yet. 

"John Kelly was going to get her into foal, but he said I can only bring her back if I promise him three stakes wins. I'm only a third of the way there," Pride said. 

"I will probably give her a few weeks off after this as she has had two runs close together. 

"I've been thinking I would like to run her in a race like The Galaxy so we will see." 

Like stablemate Anamoe in the corresponding race 12 months ago, Golden Mile found ($2.25 fav) the race short of his best but was responsible for an encouraging return in finishing second to Mariamia ($4.60) 

Nicolini Vito ($21) powered home when the race was over to grab third another two lengths in arrears while Forbidden Love ($3.80) disappointed, finishing sixth, although she did have to work hard early to hold her position from an inside draw. 

Jockey Kerrin Mcevoy indicated Forbidden Love may have felt the firm track. 

"I just expected her to finish off a bit better. She pulled up a tiny bit short in her action," McEvoy said. 

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