Makybe Diva Stakes

Makybe Diva Stakes 2014

Sat, 13 September 2014

The Makybe Diva Stakes, named after one of the queens of the Australian turf who won three consecutive Melbourne Cup's between 2003 and 2005, is a Group 1 race run at Flemington Racecourse in September each year under weight for age conditions. The race is run over 1600 metres with $400,000 in prize money on offer to the top eight placed horses. The race was formerly known as the Craiglee Stakes up to 2006 and up to 2012 it was graded as a Group 2 race.

Barriers are very significant for the 1600 metre course at Flemington as runners have about 200 metres until the biggest bend on the course commences. The bend doesn't straighten out until the 450 metre mark which tends to result in substantially longer trips for horses caught in a sub-optimal position as they enter the bend.

In 2013 Foreteller paying $15, won the race over favourite Puissance De Lune ($2.35). The five year old, at the time, turned the corner five wide with a trail and appeared to be travelling strongly after balancing but was still a good six lengths off the lead. At the 200 metre mark Puissance De Lune, who turned for the straight about two lengths in front of Foreteller, started making his run and looked the winner. By the 100 metre mark Foreteller had closed the gap but still had work to do to catch the Cup favourite. The last 50 metres became a ding dong battle with Foreteller closing the gap by centimetres with each stride. The line was just far enough away for him to get the money.

Past winners of the race, include Shocking who claimed the race in 2010 after his memorable 2009 Melbourne Cup win, Northerly, arguably Australia's top middle distance race horse of all time, won the race in 2002 and Cup winner Jeune in 1995 and Rain Lover in 1969.

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