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.