Five-year-old mare Maracana recorded a timely victory in the Group 3 Drinkwise Mile (1600m) at Doomben on Saturday, with the daughter of Shamexpress set to go under the hammer at this week’s Gold Coast broodmare sale.

Prepared by Danny O’Brien, Maracana bounced out of a Benchmark 70 victory at Cranbourne to claim Saturday’s contest with a hard-fought victory over Osmose.

The smart mare was a multiple stakes performer earlier in her career, including a third placing in the Gr.2 Fillies Classic (1600m) at three.

Given a perfect ride by Michael Dee, Maracana sat off the speed in third and belied her $41 odds when staving off her rivals after making her claim rounding the home bend.

“She’s a filly that had stakes performances as a three-year-old and just lost her way a little bit but she won last start,” O’Brien said.

“When the rain came and took the edge off this track, she’s got very good form once the track gets a little bit affected and she has produced her best today.

“She’s a mile to 2000-metre mare. She’s got good performances. She’s actually in the (Magic MIllions) mares’ sale on Tuesday or Wednesday and that is one of the reasons she’s up here.

“But she’s still got plenty of good racing in her. Whoever decides to put their hand up next week has a horse that is ready to go on with it. She is multiple stakes placed and now a Group Three winner as well.”

O’Brien flagged the A$500,000 Magic Millions National Classic (1600m) as a potential target for Maracana.

Winning jockey Michael Dee deflected all credit to the mare, suggesting he went for home too early.

“She is finding her form again from a bit of a rough patch but to her credit she stuck it out and got challenged at the hundred (metre mark) and she fought again. Credit to her,” Dee said.

“It was a nice, genuine tempo where we were able to camp on the two leaders and probably ‘my bad’ I went a bit too soon pressing the button but to her credit, she fought well.”

Maracana was bred and is part-owned by O’Brien, who trained her Group One winning Windsor Park Stud sire Shamexpress.

O’Brien purchased her dam Rita Moreno in foal to Shamexpress for $20,000 on A half-sister to Group Two winner Natalie Wood, dam of Maluckyday, Rita Moreno has had three further foals to Shamexpress and is back in foal to the son of O’Reilly, who stands for $8,000 +GST this season. 

By Racing Desk NZ for

Pics by Grant Courtney and Michael McInally