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Group l racing returns to Flemington this Saturday where it is Makybe Diva Stakes Day. The weather is fine, the track is good (4) and the rail is in the true position for the entire circuit.

Makybe Diva Stakes 🏆: View the Field and Odds for the Makybe Diva Stakes

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Race 1. (12:30) Tab Long May We Play Plate 2500m

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One of the more intriguing runners on the program is 1 Pondus (Bet Now: $3.10 TOP ODDS), a horse regarded by Nick Williams as one of their top seeds for the Melbourne. He created a good impression in the Spring last year, running second in the Bendigo Cup before a game second in the Queen Elizabeth. His two runs in Ireland prior to coming over were strong, he’s now with Rob Hickmott, gee he’s a big watch. He could blow this field away.


3 Tooradin (Bet Now: $3.70 TOP ODDS) has been up a little while but is racing well and holding his positive form. On speed throughout a fortnight back at Caulfield in what was pretty much a barrier trial and although the late speed was fair, he got the job done. If he is to win this and potentially put his hand up to be a 2021 version of Persan, he’ll need to improve. But in the right camp to do so.

Long Shot

7 Killourney (Bet Now: $8.00 TOP ODDS) is a leading contender for mine. Paul Preusker trained gelding that is several weeks between runs since racing over 2500m at Flemington when off the speed, a slow speed, and chased strongly, just missing out on picking up Schabau. If he can bounce off that run, he’ll prove hard to beat.

Race 2. (13:05) Exford Plate 1400m

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1 Artorius (Bet Now: $1.55 TOP ODDS) should be winning this. Big track, 1400m, fitter…the set up just looks absolutely perfect for him. Resumed two weeks ago in the McNeil and got a bit lost early on in the straight but wound up with real purpose when second to Bruckner. If he’s going to be a Guineas horse, which I think he’ll be, he should be winning this.


7 Hilal (Bet Now: $4.80 TOP ODDS) is getting towards D-Day. He clearly has talent, but his lone win was a maiden on the Kenso track and first up at the Valley in the McKenzie, I thought he was pretty plain. Whether he needed the run, didn’t handle the track, not sure. But home track and Blinkers on should spark improvement.

Long Shot

9 Vilana (Bet Now: $17.00 TOP ODDS) is a well bred colt for James Cummings that comes to town after leading throughout to win at Sandown at the midweeks. He was there to be run down but found under pressure and kicked hard late to get the win, just. Harder here, but in the right camp and has hard race fitness.

Race 3. (13:40) Poseidon Stakes 1100m

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2 Ingratiating (Bet Now: $1.95 TOP ODDS) is a top class colt for James Cummings that is four weeks between runs since resuming with a dominant win in the Vain at Caulfield. The tempo wasn’t hot and once he was within range, his class was always going to come to the fore and he was dominant late. He can go on with it.


3 Finance Tycoon (Bet Now: $3.00 TOP ODDS) creates interest. Formerly with Hayes/Dabernig, he now finds himself with Danny O’Brien and the stable is starting to hum along as the better races come around. He’s had a couple of jumpouts to get ready for his return and he has looked pretty good, so watch the market and see what it does.

Long Shot

4 Jigsaw (Bet Now: $6.50 TOP ODDS) is three weeks between runs for Cindy Alderson since racing in the McKenzie when on speed at a brutal speed and actually did a remarkable job to get as close as he did when third to He’s Xceptional. If that hasn’t busted him, he’ll go close against this lot.

Race 4. (14:15) Cap D'antibes Stakes 1100m

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The market will be fascinating with 4 Seradess (Bet Now: $5.50 TOP ODDS). She is potentially the best 3YO sprinting filly going around. 2/2 in the Autumn, winning on debut at Bendigo when dead heating, then well and truly showed her class when winning at Listed level on Adelaide Cup Day at Morphettville. Has looked electric in a couple of jumpouts and she could be the 2021 version of September Run.


5 Crystal Bound (Bet Now: $3.30 TOP ODDS) is a quality filly for the Maher/Eustace camp that resumes. Had a two run prep in the Autumn to start her career. Bolted up on debut at the Valley before going to the Percy Sykes when on speed but was nabbed late by Jamaea. Sharp jumpout last week and think she’s ready to go.

Long Shot

1 Dosh (Bet Now: $5.00 TOP ODDS) is a very interesting runner. Grahame Begg trained filly that resumes. 2/2 to start her career and was heading to Randwick in the Autumn for the Percy Sykes but was instead spelled. She’s a jump/run brilliant kind of filly, so I think if she is to win at blacktype level, this is her race.

Race 5. (14:55) The Sofitel 1400m

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2 Ayrton (Bet Now: $1.60) should be winning again. Very promising four year old for the Price/Kent team that resumed two weeks ago over 1400m at Caulfield. I took him on given he drew wide and was first up, but Johnny Allen slotted him into a lovely spot and pretty much, it was a painless watch. He’s got upside to come and can keep winning en route to the Golden Eagle.


5 Cherry Tortoni (Bet Now: $9.50), IMO, could be the best miler in Australia. His last run at Morphettville during the Carnival there showed how good he can be at the mile when spanking them. They’ve tried to get him to be a Derby horse, but IMO, he’s best suited at 1600m, so I think he could be a Golden Eagle contender rather than be a 2000m+ horse. He’ll give this a shake.

Long Shot

7 Regardsmaree (Bet Now: $8.00) is on his home track, he likes racing here and is just about at peak fitness. Ran over 1400m two weeks back at Caulfield when on speed throughout and though safely held late, he stuck to the task and was good in defeat. Perhaps with a bunny to chase, he’ll be more effective.

Race 6. (15:35) Let's Elope Stakes 1400m

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1 Instant Celebrity (Bet Now: $4.00) looks quite clearly the one to beat for Phillip Stokes. This mare resumed in the Cockram two weeks ago at Caulfield and was a bit flat footed when the sprint went on but picked up and was really good late when third to Probabeel. Gets to 1400m, fitter, and on the bigger track, keen on her.


Good test here for 14 Turaath (Bet Now: $4.20) but she has well and truly earned a crack. Her last couple of wins have rated through the roof, with sustained speed from the front coming to the fore, which is such an ideal recipe. Clearly the depth is stronger, but she’ll give herself every chance.

Long Shot

16 Love Sensation (Bet Now: $41.00) has a bit of quality about her when at her best, so not dismissing her here despite a class rise. Ran at the Valley three weeks back when first up. Market loved her and she seemed to get her chance but was nabbed late by Belsielle. Not sure she wins, but a first four threat.

Race 7. (16:15) Bobbie Lewis Qlty 1200m

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1 Zoutori (Bet Now: $7.00) saves his best for the straight course and did win this race last year. Classy animal for the Ellerton/Zahra camp that hasn’t raced since the All Aged in the Autumn where he was at the end of the prep and looked a tired horse behind Kolding. Two quiet jumpouts to get ready, but is a bomb early on in the prep.


2 Jonker (Bet Now: $4.50) is the watch horse. Tony Gollan trained speed demon that resumes, with eyes potentially on an Everest slot. Hasn’t raced since the Kingsford Smith Cup during the Brisbane Carnival where he was leading and looked home, but was nabbed in the last stride by stablemate Vega One. Trialled enormous behind Rothfire back home and stable rarely get it wrong when they bring them to Melbourne.

Long Shot

8 Vassilator (Bet Now: $67.00) is a Little/Lindsay trained gelding that resumes. He is better suited over a bit further, but can pull out a decent run fresh. Hasn’t raced since the Adelaide Carnival when down the track in the R A Lee behind Lord Vladivostok. Trial/jumpout were okay, so while I doubt he wins, he can fill a first four spot at a big price.

Race 8. (16:50) Makybe Diva Stakes 1600m

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10 Mo’Unga (Bet Now: $4.40) is a star for the Neasham camp and confident he can get another Group l win. Resumed three weeks ago in the Winx Stakes and really, the ride from Tommy won the race. Got on the back of Verry Elleegant and once that eventuated, it was race over and he was too good. Fitter, up in trip, he’ll take beating once again.


He has bigger fish to fry, but this is the run that will determine whether 6 Incentivise (Bet Now: $4.20) 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.

Long Shot

Leading into the Winx Stakes form, here, 3 Keiai Nautique (Bet Now: $12.00) 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.

Race 9. (17:25) Very Special Kids Pin And Win 1700m

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14 Skyman (Bet Now: $2.70) looks to be in for a good prep. Resumed over 1500m at the Valley weeks ago and appreciated the hot tempo, slicing his way through the field late and driving hard, just missing out on picking up Viral. Got upside to come and is one of the hardest to beat I’d suggest.


8 Ziegfeld (Bet Now: $6.50) is a James Cummings trained galloper that is finding it hard to put a win on the board. Looked like it would come a fortnight ago in the Heatherlie but couldn’t get past No Effort, a hard fit mare who got a cheap lead and was far too good. He’s knocking on the door to win and gets a great chance once again.

Long Shot

3 Warning (Bet Now: $35.00) is better suited over further, but he does have the class factor on his side. Resumes after a mixed Autumn/Winter, which ended with a midfield effort in the Q22 behind Zaaki. Bit of rain forecast helps his cause and he can pull out a decent run fresh.

Best Bets & Quaddie Tips

BEST BET: Race Six Number 1 Instant Celebrity

NEXT BEST: Race Two Number 1 Artorius

LONG SHOT: Race Seven Number 1 Zoutori


Quaddie Tips (Races Six Through To Nine):

Leg One: 1

Leg Two: 1, 2, 8, 9

Leg Three: 3, 6, 10, 11, 12

Leg Four: 3, 4, 8, 14

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