Group l racing for the 2021/22 season at Flemington kicks off this Saturday at with a strong field assembled for the Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m). The track is going to be a Good 4 at worst, more than likely a Good 3 with minimal rain forecast. The rail is in the true position and the way Flemington has played the last 12-18 months, there should be no track pattern or a bias.
Down below is a speed map, runner preview and $100 betting strategy for the 2021 Makybe Diva Stakes.
2021 Makybe Diva Stakes Speed Map
This looks an absolute lottery with no real designated leader to my eye. Incentivise looks the one with the early gate speed to lead, but with this race not being a Grand Final, will they want to go forward given there’s bigger fish to fry? If they do want to lead, it’ll be a soft lead. Imaging could slide forward from a tricky gate, likewise Sir Dragonet.
2021 Makybe Diva Stakes Runner Preview
1. Sir Dragonet: Reigning Cox Plate winner that resumes after a mixed Autumn/Winter prep. He did win a Tancred on dry ground, but clearly he races best when he gets his toe in, and he won’t be getting that on Saturday. Happy to look elsewhere given his Grand Final is defending his Cox Plate title.
2. Fifty Stars: I have five genuine winning hopes. Fifty Stars isn’t one of them, but I think at odds, he is the best of the rest. On paper, didn’t do a great deal in the Memsie, but I thought the run was a pass mark. Really strong second up record, he loves Flemington…I wouldn’t be entirely shocked if he won.
3. Keiai Nautique: Leading into the Winx, for me, Keiai Nautique was going to go one of two ways. Either he’d run a slashing race or finish out the back and look a donkey. It was the former. He ran out of his skin to finish fourth. Go back through his Japanese form, the 1600m form around him is A1, so he commands respect.
4. Imaging: To me, his best chance of winning is if they roll the dice and go forward given he is the 1400m-1600m horse in the race and isn’t a stayer wanting 2000m+. Somewhat luckless in the Winx Stakes. Problem with him is that he can get shy of the winning post. But, if you like, you’ll get a decent price. I’m happy to let him go through to the keeper though.
5. Mount Popa: He only beat a couple home in the Winx, but the last 50m and through the line, he was quite good for a horse that is being set for the Caulfield Cup. Might need this and another run before finding his feet, but last time he raced anti-clockwise, he gave them an absolute spanking in the Mornington Cup.
6. Incentivise: He has bigger fish to fry, but this is the run that will determine whether Incentivise is a contender or pretender. He came from nowhere during the Brisbane Carnival, winning by big spaces and winning with arrogance, though he beat zilch, so this will be the measuring stick to see where he is at. If he wins this, you may as well give him the Caulfield Cup now.
7. Explosive Jack: Another that resumes with a Cups path on the agenda, so he’ll be better over further, but the thing going for him is that he is just so genuine and tough. He is a line chaser. I highly doubt he can win this, but does no work from the draw and he has been effective in slowly run races.
8. Johnny Get Angry: Resumed in the Aurie’s Star a few weeks ago down the straight in what was pretty much a barrier trial and he ran accordingly, finishing last. Derby winner from last year being aimed at the Melbourne Cup so he’ll need this and more.
9: Aegon: Was the run flattering in the Memsie? Ridden stone cold and held up til the final 200m before getting clear and working to the line well between runners. For mine, the jury is still out on him because his trial back home in NZ prior to coming over was plain. Personally, $9 is on the skinny side for him I feel.
10: Mo’Unga: Concede the map looks potentially awful for him, but it looked awful in the Winx before some magic from Tommy Berry, getting on the back of Verry Elleegant, was the winning move. Jye McNeil, I hope, has watched that replay, spoken to Tommy and produces something similar. If he flops out the back and waits, no hope. But if he can get midfield three wide cover, on a dry deck, I think he wins.
11. Colette: I think she has returned in really good order. Trialled well leading into the Memsie when dragged back from near last in the run and worked home well without being a winning threat. Her best form has come on wet tracks, and it’ll be a dry deck on the weekend, so I think she will get back and run on again.
12. Tofane: She’s one of the hardest to beat. Michael Moroney said post race he was too kind on Tofane leading in, which was the reason why she was quite keen in the run and took away something from her finale. Now that run is under the belt, she’ll be better off, and is racing like the mile will be ideal.
Inspirational Girl: I’m very wary of this mare. Resumed in the Memsie and the market kept solid with her, which was a positive sign given she was first up for a new stable after formerly racing in WA. Got back off the speed and held up but was good late between runners, similar to Aegon. Difference being she trialled very well leading in and paraded like she had good improvement to come. Definite winning chance.
2021 Makybe Diva Stakes $100 Betting Strategy:
As I said earlier, I have this race down to five genuine winning hopes. I’m going to play a straight bat with Mo’Unga, $50 Each Way. Super winner first up of the Winx, helped by a gem from Tommy Berry. If Jye McNeil can produce a similar ride, I think it’ll take a good one to hold him out.
Group l Strategy Outlay: $200
Group l Strategy Return: $0