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Group l racing returns to Flemington this Saturday where the Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) is the feature, headlined by star Tassie mare Mystic Journey. The weather is fine, the track is good (4) and the rail is in the true position for the entire circuit.

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

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Race 1. (12:30) Very Special Kids Pin and Win Plate 2500m

Back Me

I think talk of 5 Alfarris (Bet Now: $7.50 TOP ODDS) being a Cups horse has to cease if he can’t do something positive here. He was a month between runs when racing over 2400m at Caulfield a fortnight ago where the race shape just didn’t suit him at all but was sound enough in defeat behind Another Coldie. Bigger track, extra trip, fitter, has a touch of class/quality…surely he goes close to putting these away.

Danger

Fascinating runner is 8 Caliburn (Bet Now: $7.00 TOP ODDS), a UK stayer making his Australian debut for Te Akau racing and Jamie Richards. This horse does have the form to be in the mix somewhat for the Cups, but I did hear the stable say that races like the Auckland Cup and Sydney Cup in the Autumn will be his main targets. Still, he has really good UK form next to his name.

Long Shot

I wouldn’t entirely drop off 4 Naval Warfare (Bet Now: $10.00 TOP ODDS) for Chris Waller. He was a hard luck story in the Another Coldie race from two weeks ago at Caulfield, getting badly held up behind tired runners and it was pretty much a barrier trial for him. Has a decent enough record at Flemington and he should just about be ready fitness wise. Improved showing wouldn’t shock at all.

Race 2. (13:05) Cap D'Antibes Stakes 1100m

Back Me

This is D-Day for 3 Athiri (Bet Now: $7.50 TOP ODDS). If she can’t run well here, she won’t be running well anywhere. Thought she was very good first up in the Rosebud behind Dawn Passage before going to the Up And Coming where she well and truly confirmed that beyond 1200m is a bridge too far behind True Detective. Back to the short course, back to her own sex, gee she looks hard to beat.

Danger

2 Absolute Flirt (Bet Now: $5.50 TOP ODDS) comes here with fresh legs, four weeks between runs since racing in the Quezette where she was near the speed throughout and fought on well but was no match late for the class of Exhilarates, who franked the form in the Atlantic Jewel last Saturday. Trained on the track, she’s also a short course specialist for mine so hard to beat here.

Long Shot

4 Vincere Volare (Bet Now: $9.50 TOP ODDS) a definite threat for me. Talented filly for Tony Gollan who resumes, having not raced since the Golden Slipper where she really struggled on the bog track behind Kiamichi. Her form prior was excellent she appears a filly better suited on dry ground. Wasn’t extended in a trial at Doomben on Tuesday, hopefully keeping her nice and fresh for this assignment.

Race 3. (13:40) Antler Luggage Exford Plate 1400m

Back Me

11 Tenley (Bet Now: $6.00 TOP ODDS) on top. She resumed in the Silver Shadow at Randwick three weeks ago where most eased in betting due to the support for Libertini. She got back in the run and just couldn’t really sprint with them well enough and on face value, was just fair. But I think a big tick for her is getting away from that A grade talent and stepping up to 1400m. Draws to get decent three wide cover and launch late.

Danger

Keen to see 13 Missile Mantra (Bet Now: $4.40 TOP ODDS) up to 1400m. This filly resumed in the McNeil two weeks back at Caulfield when back near last in the run and was more or less ridden like it was a barrier trial, getting held up for most of the straight before getting clear late and finding the line well. Up to 1400m will really suit her I think and she should lap up the spacious surroundings Flemington has to offer.

Long Shot

I think 1400m and the bigger track should suit 14 Lady Lupino (Bet Now: $13.00 TOP ODDS). She resumed over 1200m at the Valley three weeks ago when doing a bit of work near the speed and over an unsuitable trip against sprinters, she felt the pinch late when down the track behind Sassy Salitage, who was excellent lats Saturday, so that form is solid and up to 1400m, she’s hard to beat.

Race 4. (14:15) The Sofitel 1400m

Back Me

Happy to butter up with 5 Long Leaf (Bet Now: $7.50 TOP ODDS) for the Hayes/Dabernig team. Was on him two weeks ago in the Penny Edition in Adelaide and was there until about the 150m when just feeling the pinch late, eventually running fifth to Behemoth. Getting away from WFA should be idea, he’s hard fit now and looks to get a really good run just off the speed, plus Olly is booked.

Danger

2 Romancer (Bet Now: $10.00 TOP ODDS) is just an absolute beauty this time in. Yet to run a poor race this prep for Grahame Begg and his consistency was rewarded with a strong win over 1500m at the Valley a few weeks back, sitting off the speed before getting clear air on the turn and finishing best in a driving go to the line. He’s going really well this guy and see no reason why that can’t continue.

Long Shot

Back to Flemington should suit the Jason Warren trained 9 Antah (Bet Now: $9.50 TOP ODDS). He ran over 1400m at Caulfield two weeks ago when just off the speed from the inside gate and wasn’t suited by the slow tempo set by the leader and eventual winner Age Of Chivalry. Run was full of merit though. If he’s going to head towards the Sir Rupert Clarke, he’d want to be winning this I dare say.

Race 5. (14:50) Danehill Stakes 1200m

Back Me

I’m the number one ticket holder in the 5 Dalasan (Bet Now: $2.70) fan club and I think he can continue his charge towards the Caulfield Guineas with another win. He was outstanding when winning the Spring Stakes a few weeks ago. Admittedly he had the featherweight and drop off a hot speed, but to beat two Group l winners, easily, and at start four, tells me he might be the next star to come from SA. I don’t think it was a one off performance.

Danger

4 Super Seth (Bet Now: $3.90)…is he a miler, or a sprinter? I think we’ll get a good guide here. He resumed in the McNeil two weeks ago where he was ridden a treat by Zahra, positioning much more handy in the run than most anticipated and that made sure he was the one to beat, edging clear late. This run will tell us if he’s a Coolmore Stud horse or does he want more ground and head towards the Guineas.

Long Shot

8 Sebrakate (Bet Now: $7.50) is the sprinter here and has good straight track credentials so he’s in the mix for sure. He comes through the McNeil where you could easily make a case that he should have won, but just had no luck at a vital stage when probing for a run. Impressive winner down the track a few runs prior and he seems to have really turned the corner.

Race 6. (15:30) Let's Elope Stakes 1400m

Back Me

Just have to bet again with 9 Fidelia (Bet Now: $3.40). Was keen on her running well first up in the Cockram two weeks back at Caulfield and gee she ran a beauty off a somewhat moderate speed behind Pippie. She’s a Flemington specialist and should lap up the rise to 1400m. Just want her to get clear air early so she can build the revs. If that happens, I think she’ll take some beating.

Danger

2 Spanish Whisper (Bet Now: $6.00) is a Hayes/Dabernig trained mare who had trialled up well prior to resuming in the Cockram and I thought she was very good late when second to Pippie in a race over a distance that was short of her best. Group winner at this track/distance from the Autumn and off the resumption, she’s got to be rated as one of the hardest to beat.

Long Shot

Great to see SA Oaks winner 1 Princess Jenni (Bet Now: $11.00) return. She hasn’t raced since finishing midfield in the QLD Oaks behind Winning Ways after getting a decent run near the speed, but she probably had enough after the Oaks triumph in Morphettville. Didn’t mind the way she trialled at Cranbourne and while 1400m is short of her best, she does have class.

Race 7. (16:10) Makybe Diva Stakes 1600m

Back Me

She’s a star 13 Mystic Journey (Bet Now: $2.15) and can well and truly confirm that and the favourite tag for the Cox Plate with a win here. She was outstanding when winning the PB Lawrence first up, chasing really strongly from the top of the straight and putting her rivals to win. The Flemington mile was her bread and butter in the Autumn so she has to be the one to beat.

Danger

There looks to be only one horse who I think can beat Mystic Journey, which is 4 Scales Of Justice (Bet Now: $4.40). Just did far too much two back when beaten by Dalasan at Morphettville but got the A1 run in the Memsie thanks to a lovely steer from Yendall and he was far too good for his rivals. I think the Flemington mile will be up his alley and if he has a head start on Mystic Journey, gee he’ll make it a race.

Long Shot

1 Hartnell (Bet Now: $11.00) is just an absolute beauty. Good behind Mystic Journey first up in the PB Lawrence before going to the Memsie where he was held up at a vital stage and you can make a case that he goes close to winning with clear air when fourth to Scales Of Justice. Won’t get into a pocket from the wide gate this time around and he should run his usual honest race.

Race 8. (16:50) Bobbie Lewis Quality 1200m

Back Me

I think 2 Malibu Style (Bet Now: $7.50) is the each way bet of the weekend. Once upon a time, I had him penned as a milk drinker, but the last 12-18 months, gee he’s turned the corner and now he’s a beauty. It’s been a while since he has run poorly and loves the straight course, and off the back of a very slick jumpout last Friday, gee I think he’ll only run well despite some depth here.

Danger

14 Usain Bowler (Bet Now: $7.00) loves the straight track and he finds it again. Poor ride cost him dearly down the straight first up behind Prezado before racing at the Valley at his next two, winning the first run before a strong fourth from the back behind Tavisan. Like him at 1200m down the straight, down in the weights, and when he gets the right set up, he has a brilliant turn of foot.

Long Shot

Death, taxes and 5 Streets Of Avalon (Bet Now: $17.00) running well at Flemington. That’s what he should do here after resuming over 1100m at Caulfield two weeks ago and I thought he was good in defeat behind Crystal Dreamer in a race over a distance that didn’t suit him. He more often than not runs well over 1400m at Flemington so 1200m is the little query, but he’s a tough, honest bugger.

Race 9. (17:25) Vale Russell Cameron 1700m

Back Me

14 Hang Man (Bet Now: $8.50) on top for me. Michael Moroney trains this gelding, who resumed over 1400m at Caulfield two weeks ago in what was pretty much a barrier trial won by Age Of Chivalry, who controlled things beautifully in front and had it to suit. Hang Man ran outstanding late splits second up last prep in an unsuitable race and he does save his best for Flemington.

Danger

6 Captain Cook (Bet Now: $4.50) looks ready to win third up from a spell. He comes through the Heatherlie from two weeks ago at Caulfield where he chased hard from off the pace but couldn’t quite get there when second to Super Titus. Is he looking for a step up to 2000m? Perhaps, but looks to have speed in the legs still and third up, he should be ready fitness wise.

Long Shot

Fitter and up to 1700m should suit the Paul Preusker trained 13 Mosh Music (Bet Now: $6.00). She was solid in betting when resuming over 1500m at the Valley three weeks ago where she did a bit of work early in the run and that early burn just told on her late when fifth to the in form Romancer. Reckon she may need one more and back to Mares grade, but she’s certainly talented and stable is having a decent run.

Best Bets & Quaddie Tips

BEST BET: Race Three Number 11 Tenley

NEXT BEST: Race Eight Number 2 Malibu Style

LONG SHOT: Race Nine Number 14 Hang Man

 

Quaddie Tips (Races Six Through To Nine):

Leg One: 1, 2, 8, 9

Leg Two: 4, 13

Leg Three: 2, 5, 14, 15

Leg Four: 6, 9, 13, 14, 17

$50 Investment = 31.25% of the dividend if successful

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