MAKYBE DIVA STAKES
$400,000, Group One, WFA, 1600m
Previously known as the Craiglee Stakes, the race has carried Group One status for the past two years.
Significant winners include Comic Court (1949), Chicquita (1949-50), Lord (1961), Light Fingers (1965), Tobin Bronze (1966), Rain Lover (1969), Dulcify (1979), Zabeel (1990), Mahogany (1994), Jeune (1995), Northerly (2002) and Dissident (2014).
Only four horses – Dissident, Weekend Hussler, Lord and Comic Court – have won the Memsie/Makybe Diva double.
Only two favourites have won the race in the past 10 years – Dissident and Weekend Hussler.
THIS YEAR’S FIELD
The second Group One race of the Melbourne spring attracting 10 Group One winners: Fawkner, Happy Trails, Boban, Smokin’ Joey, Our Ivanhowe, Mongolian Khan, Volkstok’n’barrell, Magicool, Rising Romance and Gust Of Wind.
The main pace is drawn out. Entirely Platinum and Hi World have drawn poorly in barriers 15 and 17 respectively but should roll forward along with Fawkner from 14.
Volkstok’n’barrell (16) may also come across. Smokin Joey’, Mongolian Khan, Magicool and Rising Romance should be handy from better draws.
“I’ve galloped him a few times and ridden him in a few trials and he’s trialled up quite well,” said jockey Opie Bosson about Cups hope and dual Derby winner Mongolian Khan.
Trainer Paul Beshara wouldn’t be surprised if Happy Trails won a fourth Group One at Flemington: “Hell no. He’s working well enough to do it.”
“I wasn’t disappointed in the run, it was just a shame that he got beaten. That’s been the only blemish in the lead-up,” trainer Tony McEvoy on Alpine Eagle’s first-up defeat in Adelaide.
THE EARLY MONEY
Fawkner has firmed from $8 to $6 despite his draw while Alpine Eagle has been well backed from $9 to $6.50. Volkstok’n’barrell ($11-$13-$11) has also met with support.
Dissident (2014) second-up after winning Memsie Stakes.
Foreteller (2013) second-up after running eighth in Warwick Stakes.
Southern Speed (2012) third-up after third in Spring Stakes then winning Penny Edition Stakes in Adelaide.
Littorio (2011) First-up off a 71-week break.
Shocking (2010) second-up after finished seventh in J.J. Liston Stakes (P.B. Lawrence).