The Makybe Diva stakes at Flemington will be run at Group 1 level for only the second time this weekend and reflecting on some of the past winners of the race its easy to see why racings ‘pattern committee’ which assesses the quality of races decided to give the weight for age race a promotion.
Former winners include Southern Speed, Shocking, Weekend Hussler, Northerly, Jeune, Mahogany, Zabeel and Dulcify. Melbourne Cup winners Rain Lover and Light Fingers also collected this race on the way to their Flemington victories.
On Saturday the race has brought together the winners of a Melbourne Cup, Caulfield Cup, Australian Cup, Emirates Stakes and many other high profile events.
The Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes is set to jump at 4pm (AEST). Make sure you tune in to Sky Racing to catch all the action.
Green Moon ($18 with TAB.com.au) hasn’t managed to win a race since his famous Cup win in 2012 but has run well in two Australian Cups since. Flemington is the key factor with Green Moon and his only try at the track and distance resulted in a win.
Green Moon’s stablemate Fawkner ($9.50) is also winless since his Caulfield Cup win last year but has only contested 2 races since – a strong 6th in the Melbourne Cup and 7th in the unsuitably short William Reid Stakes earlier this year. Another Flemington specialist Fawkner has raced 10 times at headquarters for 5 wins and 3 placings.
Boban ($4.40) is due for a change of luck at his 3rd run back from a spell. The Chris Waller trained galloper will step up to a mile on Saturday - the same distance as his wins in the Epsom, Emirates Stakes and Chipping Norton Stakes – all Group 1 races.
Super Cool ($31) has not won since his big moment in racing when the winner of the Australian Cup in 2013. However the 5 year old has run some terrific races in top company since. His 3rd in last years Caulfield Stakes behind Atlantic jewel and 5th in the Cox Plate show he still has plenty to offer at this level.
Check the full TAB.com.au market for the Makybe Diva Stakes here
It was hard to miss the superb first up run of Sertorius ($16) in the Memsie Stakes at Caulfield. The son of Galileo will find his best form over slightly longer distances than this weekends race. Sertorious has won twice before at the mile but in much easier company – the Sale Cup and a restricted race at Caulfield.
Some punters might be starting to question if Puissance de Lune ($5.50) will ever win a Group 1 race but maybe Saturday will finally be his day. Look at Puissance’s 4 previous Flemington runs – wins in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes & Blamey Stakes (Dead Heat) and second placings in last year’s Turnbull and Makybe Diva Stakes. He has drawn nicely in gate 2 and could easily join racing’s Group 1 club on Saturday.
Messene ($7.50) will be having his third run back from a spell on Saturday and needs to improve on his last start 9th in the Memsie Stakes. The team Hawkes runner had turned in an impressive first up run in the Missile Stakes in Sydney before the Memsie flop. Perhaps the step up to 1600 metres and the bigger track at Flemington will be in his favour.
With Austalian racing now dominated by imported Europeans it might pay to respect Spillway ($10) this weekend. The former English galloper returned for the Spring with a super effort when 2nd in the Lawrence Stakes behind Star Rolling. Spillway has a minimum winning distance of 2000 metres so Saturday’s race could be short of his best. But with Damien Oliver on board and the David Hayes/Tom Dabernig combination sending out plenty of recent winners this import certainly stays under notice.
On this day last year Dissident ($2.90) ran a bold second in the Golden Rose behind Zoustar and he has gone on to prove that run was not a one off. Dissident won the Randwick Guineas at 16oo metres in the Autumn before struggling on the heavy going in the Doncaster. The Memsie stakes win is eveidence he has come back in great fettle for the Spring and further improvement can be expected 2nd up.
Late Charge ($31) will need to lift to a new level to be competitive on Saturday. The 4 year old has contested 2 Group 1 races previously for 9th placings in both the Caulfield and Australian Guineas. Although a last start winner at Caulfield over 1200 metres, the Makybe Diva will be a much tougher assignment.
Don Doremo ($41) with only 4 career starts for 2 wins looks like a promising type. However, coming off a benchmark 64 win at Cranbourne he looks seriously tested in this grade.
The Makybe Diva should be a great preview of the serious Spring contenders. The support card is also first class and features the Lets Elope, Bobbie Lewis and Danehill stakes.
You’ll see all the weekend’s racing live on Sky Racing and don’t forget we’ll have a full review of Flemington and the Golden Rose meeting on Racing Retro Sunday morning at 9am (AEST). I hope you can tune in!
G3 - The Majordomo Hospitality Handicap Steeple Chase
G2 - Prix Raoul Balliere
G2 - Prix Ariste Hemard
G3 - Victress Stakes
G2 - Premier Trophy