Horse Racing Tips | Makybe Diva Stakes Group 1 Preview

Horse Racing Tips | Makybe Diva Stakes Group 1 Preview

Horse Racing Tips | Makybe Diva Stakes Group 1 Preview

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Makybe Diva Stakes Group 1

Flemington Race 7 Makybe Diva Stakes – Odds and Race Form

Flemington Race Day Info

Race Preview

2017 Makybe Diva Stakes Group 1 1600m


First run in 1948 as the Craiglee Stakes over 1 1/4 miles (2000m) and won by Lungi, the name was changed to the Makybe Diva Stales in 2007 after the champion Melbourne Cup winning mare, despite the fact she never actually won this event. Results have proven a real mixture over the years, from great sprinter milers like Weekend Hussler, Mahogany, Tontonan, Dual Choice to outstanding WFA types such as Durbridge, Zabeel, Sovereign Red, Family Of Man, All Shot and Lord, Melbourne Cup winners in Shocking, Jeune, Rain Lover, Light Fingers and Comic Court, Caulfield Cup winners Sky Heights, Mannerism, Ming Dynasty, Tobin Bronze and How Now, along with Cox Plate Champions Northerly and Dulcify. So as you can see, a wide range of different type of horses can win this great race, admittedly most if not all are of the highest quality. The Makybe Diva attained Group 1 status in 2013. Favourites have a very poor recent record, winning only 2 of the past 13 runnings. The now retired Darren Weir trained 4yo entire Palentino was victorious in 2016.


Showers are forecast for Melbourne on Friday and Saturday, so a rain affected track may change the complexion of this race dramatically come jump time.

A field of 12 accepted for the 2017 version on Wednesday with only three sprinter/miler types engaged, the other nine all aiming towards the Cups, Cox Plate or both. Black Heart Bart, Le Romain and Hey Doc appear the best 1600m type horses in the event, however none are leaders and this is where the biggest problem for punters arises, from where will the pace come? Possibly Hey Doc from a wide draw may shoot across early and get to the fence, Hartnell should begin quickly from barrier 8 to get closer to the fence and Jon Snow surprisingly shows good pace in most of his races. Nevertheless, the tempo appears to be slow, so punters should be looking for horses that will race handily and not get too far out of their ground in the run. Both Black Heart Bart and Le Romain should be close enough, as should Gailo Chop and Ventura Storm from their good draws.

Hartnell looked most impressive winning the Lawrence first up from a spell. He has won at this track, won three times at the distance and would have won more than his 11 from 33 winning record currently suggests had he not been confronted with wonder mare Winx on no less than seven occasions, running second five times. Should he get over from the awkward draw easily enough in the early stages, then he should be in the finish again. Not often we see a jockey change on a last start winner especially a Group 2 winner, with last start winning hoop Craig Williams (now riding $66 outsider Seaburge) being replaced by Kerrin McEvoy today. McEvoy is riding in career best form of late, so the 7yo will get a good ride.

Black Heart Bart tried very hard when beaten in the Memsie last start where Vega Magic stacked the field up and gave his rivals little chance of running him down. No doubt he will again run a most honest race, alas, Bart has never won over this distance and never won at Flemington, which is a big query when racing against quality horses looking for further who will be hitting the line strongly over the final 200m.

Le Romain was disappointing in the Memsie, had a lovely run in transit and only plodded in the straight. This may have been caused by the lack of pace and he does have a much better 1600m record winning twice over this distance, one of those victories over the Flemington 1600m. He strips much fitter today after two runs this time in and from the good draw he can definitely be in the finish. The 5yo gelding has won on three occasions on a heavy track and placed twice, so if the rains come his chances will not be hindered.

Gailo Chop beat an inferior field at Morphettville last start however did it in style and with the extra fitness, distance and rails draw he can be considered a distinct trifecta chance. The 7yo has won twice at this distance and did win the MacKinnon Stakes here at Flemington two years ago. Not only has he hit form coming into this Group 1, he is a true mudlark winning six of eight on rain affected going.

We expect an improved showing from ATC Derby winner Jon Snow and if the track is rain affected when the fields jumps away, then his winning chances improve considerably. The 4yo entire is a typical Kiwi who has won twice on heavy and once on slow going from only four attempts.  His Memsie run was okay racing handy and he will strip much fitter, alas, he has not won at this distance in four attempts.

Hey Doc has a chance, however the gelding has the outside barrier which will make his task a difficult one and could not get close to Vega Magic in the Memsie when he started from barrier 1. The upside is he has won three times at Flemington, twice at 1600m and once over this course and distance, so he can improve from Caulfield where he has never won.

Ventura Storm needed the run first up, however does have the rails draw here and could improve. The 5yo entire has won twice at the distance although going on his European form he will be better off over further.

Humidor, Single Gaze and Inference would need to improve sharply on their first up runs to be betting propositions in this race while Tavago is first up and despite having won twice over the 1600m will probably need the run. Humidor at least appears to hit form when he reaches the 1600m, so he could be one to include in multiples.


An abundance of iffs, buts, maybes, howevers and neverthelesses here, especially if the forecasted rain arrives.

If Hartnell repeats his Lawrence Stakes win, then he is the one to beat despite the awkward draw. His biggest hurdle would appear to be the hoodoo on favourites in this race, and at Flemington for that matter where favourites overall have a much lower winning strike rate than other Melbourne metropolitan tracks. And punters will have to take prohibitive odds about a 7yo who can mix his form.

Should we forgive Le Romain’s run in the Memsie and consider it was a pace related issue, then his track and distance record tells us he is a definite winning possibility, and at around the $10 mark, a reasonably good each way chance, however this may be his last chance. Black Heart Bart a strong place hope after a good Memsie showing however running a strong 1600m, particularly the final 200m may be his nemesis.

Which of the other horses are a serious winning chance? Plenty more maybes here too, Hey Doc maybe with luck from the draw, Jon Snow possibly if the tack is rain affected, Humidor up to a more preferred distance today conceivably, Gailo Chop perhaps. Happy to look for the others when distances extend later in the Spring.

1 #2 Le Romain each way

2 #1 Hartnell

3 #8 Jon Snow (especially if the track is rain affected)

4 #2 Black Heart Bart

Best of luck to all in this year’s Makybe Diva Stakes

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