Winless thus far in his campaign, the classy 4YO has opened at the top of the UBET market to claim the second Group 1 of his career. He started this prep with a possible Everest Slot as the target however James Cummings and the Godolphin team have stepped away from that plan and looking to get the best from the Lonhro entire at the mile. After a narrow 2nd to Pierata when resuming in the G2 Missile Stakes, he was then a late nom into the Winx Stakes to take on the great mare. Finishing 3.2 lengths away in 4th place he was then taken to Caulfield for the Memsie where his run was all class when grabbed right in the post by Humidor. That was the second time he has been beaten by less than a half-length in G1 events at The Heath, adding to his Caulfield Guineas 2nd placing. This will be the first time he has run the bend at Flemington and he looks set to relish the open expanses.
The Weir trained Humidor will be out to make it successive Makybe Diva’s following on from his success in the 2017 edition. No horse has been able to claim the race in successive years since Sailor’s Guide went back-to-back in 1956 and 1957. Resuming this campaign in the Lawrence he was settled near the rear of the pack and was doing his best work in the closing stages. In the Memsie he was settled on the rails near the rear and looking no chance as they turned for home, under an inspired Damian Lane ride, he stuck to the rail and then found the right gap to squeeze through and land a narrow victory. From 3 runs at the Flemington mile, the 6YO has won 2 of them, this race last year and the G2 Blamey Stakes while his overall Flemington record from 6 starts can also add the G1 Australian Cup to his record. Humidor is the lonely runner in the field with multiple wins at the Flemington mile.
Perhaps somewhat disappointing since returning for his 4YO term, there can be a solid case made for the fact that the entire does not appreciate the Caulfield track. With both return runs at The Heath in the Lawrence and the Memsie, his first-up effort was sharper than the Memsie where he looked to be labouring in the last 250m. The Price trained entire gets back to Flemington where he is yet to miss a place in three appearances, two of those victories including the G1 Australian Guineas. After victory in the G3 CS Hayes, he then overcame the widest gate in the field of 16 to take the Guineas by a half-length over Peaceful State. Looking to emulate the deeds of Palentino in 2016 who claimed the Guineas in the Autumn before claiming this race in the Spring, Grunt can turn his prep around here and at double figure odds the value looks good if forgiving his Caulfield performances. Oliver goes back aboard after riding Vega Magic in the Memsie.
Somewhat the forgotten horse, Happy Clapper will be second-up after returning in the Memsie. The now 8YO looked to get lost and was under hard riding however he got going again at the 200m and finished off the race nicely in the closing stages. His Autumn was a superb prep that saw dual victories at the elite level, claiming the Canterbury Stakes and the Doncaster when scoring an emphatic two length victory under 57kg. Either side of those wins were placings behind Winx in the George Ryder and the Queen Elizabeth. Out to the mile where he is a four-time winner, the Pat Webster trained gelding also has impressive second-up numbers of 8: 3-3-0. His past 3 runs when second-up have been a win in the 1400m Newcastle Newmarket, a 2nd to Winx when beaten 1.3 lengths in the George Main and 2nd to Winx when 0.8 lengths away in the 1500m George Ryder. Taken to Melbourne to avoid Winx, the gelding has the X-Factor to take out this race.
As the name would suggest, the race honours the mighty 3-time Melbourne Cup wining mare and was named the Makybe Diva Stakes in 2007. The race was originally known as the Craiglee Stakes from its inception in 1948 up until 2006. The race is run over 1600m at Flemington under weight-for-age conditions.
Originally a Principal race, it was upgraded to Group 2 status in 1979 and was further upgraded to the elite level in 2013. Following a further injection of funds, the 2017 edition offered total prizemoney of $750,000.
In 2017 the race was won by the Darren Weir trained Humidor, ridden by Damian Lane. Other past winners include Fawkner, Weekend Hussler, Northerly, Mahogany and Zabeel.
Odds and previews are available for all the major Spring Racing Carnival races at UBET's Spring Racing Betting Hub.
|Date:||Saturday 15th September 2018|
|Race Time:||16:10 AEST|
|2018 Makybe Diva Stakes Odds|