The Group 1 racing continues this week with the running of the Makybe Diva Stakes over a mile. A crack field of fifteen will line up but according to the early markets with plenty of interest around several runners. Of course there’s the dominant favourite and current favourite for this year’s Melbourne Cup, Puissance De Lune who has opened up in the red at $1.75. It’s the first time we’ll see the Robert Hickmott trained pair of See Moon and Masked Marvel.
Two gallopers imported from overseas who will be aimed at the Melbourne Cup and are quoted at $17.00 and $41.00 for the Cup respectively. December Draw returns to racing after finishing seventh in last year’s Cup and Waldpark, another imported galloper who has been kept relative safer for this race at $21 and is currently a $34 chance for the Cup, also makes is first Australian appearance.
1. MANIGHAR – L Nolen (4)
Run a very unlucky second in this race last year when, like he is today, first up from sixteen week spell. He’s only failed to finish out of the placings once in six fresh runs thus far and that was his first up run last prep when he never threatened in the G1 Chipping Norton (1600m). Took a long time to find his form last time in but would not underestimate him here from a good draw.
2. MOURAYAN – C Schofield (2)
Last season’s Sydney Cup winner returning to racing with his aim this prep to better his seventh in last year’s Melbourne Cup. He ran a cheeky race first up in this race last year at 80/1, finishing fourth behind Southern Speed. He has only run one third from nine fresh runs and he’ll need this run and 2400m + before he’ll produce his best.
3. MR. MOET – D Staek (14)
After claiming the G1 Railway Stakes and G2 C B Cox Stakes in his home state of Western Australia, he ventured east and ran eye-catching races in the G1 CF Orr (third to All Too Hard beaten ¾) and G2 Peter Young (second to Foreteller beaten a neck). He’s been well and truly prepped for his return to racing here with three barrier trials of which he won the two most recent. He’s won three from five fresh and despite the poor draw, attracts plenty of attention at $15.00.
4. ETHOPIA – R McLeod (11)
Last year’s ATC Derby win who returns to racing for the first time since failing in the G1 Doncaster Handicap back in April of this year. That’s been his only race start in almost a year. He has plenty of ability as indicated by his fourth placing behind Ocean Park in last year’s Cox Plate at only his seventh race start but off the long break, he’ll need this outing and possible a few others.
5. FORETELLER – (9)
Blossomed last time in to claim the G1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) and rounded out his campaign with a great effort to finish second behind stable-mate Beaten Up in the G1 Doomben Cup (2000m). He returned to racing in the G2 Warwick Stakes where he got a long way back behind tear-away leader, Rain Affair. It was only the last 100m that the Chris Waller galloper started to hit is straps. Has a neat turn of foot and over the mile second up, will be storming home late.
6. SEA MOON – C Williams (3)
Team Williams purchased this 6yo by Beat Hallow (same sire as Beaten Up) from overseas and he’s set to make his anticipated Australian debut here. He’s won five of his ten starts to date including the G2 Hardwick Stakes (2414m) however, it’s been a while now since he’s competed over a distance as short as this. Markets for here and the Cup have him as a leading contender.
7. DECEMBER DRAW – M Rodd (12)
8yo from Mark Kavanagh’s stable who returns to racing for the first time since running second to last in last year’s McKinnon Stakes (2000m). He was off a similar break when competing in this race last year where he ran eighth. Expect that, like in last year’s race, he’ll need this hit-out.
8. PUISANNCE DE LUNE – G Boss (5)
His first up win off a twenty-three week spell was impressive. In the G2 P. B. Lawrence Stakes three weeks ago, the 6yo settled at the tail of the field of eight runners but as soon as the run opened for him nearing the 200m, he displayed an exciting turn of foot to overhaul Anjeeb and win comfortably on the line. That was his fourth win in a row and he would only have been improved by the outing. This is his first crack at the elite level in Australia but he looks incredibly hard to beat.
9. TUSCAN FIRE – L Currie (1)
A stayer from Dan O’Sullivan’s yard who resumed at Flemington last month and, over the unsuitable distance of 1400m, he was sent out a 100/1 shot. He produced a finished that belied his quote, storming home to win by a nose. He next stepped at in a 1500m Open race at Moonee Valley a fortnight ago and, whilst the spring wasn’t in his legs second up, he was still hitting the line in good style running fifth. Going well and has won three from six at this track but none at this level which may be just out of his reach.
10. MASKED MARVEL – S Arnold (13)
A Montjeu horse that is making his Australian debut and lining up for his first start in near on 12 months. He’s a lightly raced 6yo having only competed on thirteen occasions, winning four of them. His most recent victory was seven starts ago back in September 2011 over 2937m in the G1 St. Leger. From his wide gate, presume he gets back and it would be a remarkable effort by horse and trainer if he could run some of these down over this trip.
11. BEATEN UP – SCRATCHED
12. WALDPAK – B Melham (8)
German import racing under the Australian Bloodstock banner who have plenty of success with horses of similar profiles in recent years. This horse is by Dubawi and has had fifteen starts, winning four of them and filling places on five occasions. He’s competed at the top level in Germany and Italy but hasn’t won since claiming a G1 race in Germany over 2400m back in July 2011 – eleven starts ago. Happy to have a look at him here to see what he produces.
13. MOUDRE – M Zahra (6)
Another who competed in this race last year when first up off a spell and he produced an outstanding effort to claim third behind Southern Speed and Manighar at 50/1.He is first up again this year and trainer Ciaron Maher is sticking to the formula of last year’s race and has given the 8yo two barrier trails. Surprisingly for a stayer, his fresh form reads well but this year’s edition of the race, is much stronger than it was in 2012.
14. BIT OF HELL – N Callow (15)
Another import, this one with trainer Mick Price and in his Australian debut at Caulfield in May, went within in a nose off winning an Open class race over 1600m. He was immediately turned out and returned three weeks ago over the same track and trip but this time, with vastly different results. He started 3/1 fav., settled mid-field but weakened to finish last and on that effort, it’s impossible to see him winning a race such as this.
15. LET’S MAKE ADEAL – D Lane (7)
The only mare in the race, this 4yo daughter of Red Ransom will have her work cut out for here. Her record reads well enough, with 2 wins and 4 placings from eight starts but that record as been accumulated in races of far less quality than this. She returned from a sixteen week spell to win a RST 84 race over 1600m in good style and whilst there may be a nice race for her over the carnival somewhere, this race isn’t it.
At Group 1 level, with a field of fifteen lining up, it’s remarkable that we see one horse dominating the market as much as Puissance De Lune does but, there’s no denying his efforts in Australia thus far and particularly his win in the P B Lawrence three weeks ago. He’ll be in the box seat throughout from barrier five and appears only to require a half a chance to produce his best. Looking for those who can fill a place and have settled on Waller’s pair of Beaten Up and Foreteller. Both competed in the Warwick Stakes and will have derived benefit from the outing. The mile suits both and compared to some of their competitors who may require the run and/or be looking for a little longer, both have a turn of foot that can be utilised here.
- PUISSANCE DE LUNE
- BEATEN UP