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The Oracle’s Runner-by-Runner Preview: Makybe Diva Stakes

The $ 1 million Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1,600 m) have put together an excellent field with a variety of chances to win.

We’re seeing the boom horse and cup favorite Incentivize for the first time in Melbourne – but how will he compete in the one-mile weight class?

He’s the only true on-speed runner in the race, so will he have a picnic up front?

Some quality horses will make the trip to Sydney in an exciting competition.

We’ll see the shape lines of Memsie and Winx Stakes clash and it will be interesting to see which shape line is at the top.


Last year’s Cox Plate winner who reappears after a spell. He has never won a race under 2040m, so one might guess that the 1600m is too short for him. His attempt at the end of last month was fine, but I doubt he can get into the placements here. Dry tracks are also not his thing. Verdict: Watch and learn for future races.


Jockey John Allen rides with Fifty Stars to victory in the Australian Cup 2020. (AAP picture / Vince Caligiuri)

The Form Guide reads a “donut” from his last run when he finished 10th in the Memsie Stakes, but his run was much better. He ran his final 600m home in 34.86m, which was faster than Inspirational Girl, even though he had a slightly broken section on the straight. Flemington is his lucky hunting ground, where he has won four out of twelve, including two wins at the Blamey Stakes over a mile. He also won an Australian Cup here. He’s got stupid odds of $ 26 (should be half). Wide barrier not a real disadvantage for him, as he likes space. Got a good runner-up too. Conclusion: all day every day.


The former Japanese gallop was underrated in the Winx Stakes from $ 41, but he ran a great race to finish fourth, beaten under half a length. The fact that coach Matt Smith brings him to Melbourne for this is a great confirmation for him and he must have a great chance of making it into the top 4. Verdict: Definitely for the multiples.

MAKYBE DIVA Stakes Field, Form Guide, Odds Comparison


In the Winx Stakes he did quite well first, where he wasn’t very lucky. His second record is pretty good and he’s mixed it with these horses before. He just always seems to find a better couple that day. verdict: Top 4 chance.


Caulfield Cup-bound Hawkes canter, which despite good support in the market was only fair first in the Winx Stakes. A mile is still just under his best distance but expect him to finish strong on the big distance. verdict: Wait for it to reach 2000m.


Create an incentive to win the Ipswich Provincial Stayers Final. Image: Grant Peters / Trackside Photography

The endurance test for this highly acclaimed Queenslander is now in the care of Peter Moody. The stable struggled to get him on his Melbourne leg but they may have ironed that out by Saturday’s run. His trial didn’t answer too many questions and it will be very interesting to see how he does in the weight class, even if 1600m is not his best distance. If he’s as good as they say he should shake it up, but for me he’s a watch and a glimpse of this field on Saturday. He is the only on-speed runner in the race and could take an undisputed lead from Gate 3. verdict: It’s his boom or bust moment.


This guy was a revelation earlier in the year, winning the derbies in Tasmania, South Australia and ATC. It will be interesting to see how he comes back on this one, but against these better horses over a mile the stable will be happy if they can get within four to five lengths of the winner. Will run late but not a Saturday betting offer. verdict: If you like him, check out the futures markets.

MAKYBE DIVA Stakes Field, Form Guide, Odds Comparison


VRC Derby winner who was first well beaten in the Aurie’s Star over 1200m. The mile will be more to his liking, but he will again fetch a high price with it. Needs further. verdict: No.


Excellent return in the memsie stakes for this New Zealander as he finished the fastest 600m (34.38), 400m (22.83) and 200m (11.56) sections and finished fourth. Will be runner-up by the mile and will be extremely hard to beat on Saturday. He will enjoy the expanses of Flemington and is a horse on the rise. A soft pull in Gate 4 allows him to stay closer to speed. verdict: Can win.


Sydney races

Tommy Berry (right) on Mo’unga wins the Winx Stakes at Royal Randwick on August 21 (Photo by Mark Evans / Getty Images)

The first Winx Stakes winner to travel to Melbourne to play another Group 1. He did well at the CS Hayes Stakes in Flemington earlier this year. The form of the Winx Stakes held up well when Think It Over won the Chelmsford last Saturday. He’s a nascent superstar if he isn’t already, and expect him to do another big race if that happens. Barrier 11 could prove sticky. verdict: Can take consecutive Group 1 victories.


The mare trained by James Cummings ran well first and finished sixth in the memsie from a wide barrier draw and she will be better suited at the mile. Her best form is on the soft tracks and she won’t get that on Saturday. She performed well on dry tracks so she is not without a chance of winning. Maybe she’ll find a few better ones again. verdict: Put it in your quaddie.

MAKYBE DIVA Stakes Field, Form Guide, Odds Comparison


Triple Group 1 winner making her first jump on the mile. The way she took first place in the 1400m Memsie Stakes you might think the 1600m should be fine, but the Flemington Mile is a test. The stable has a possible Cox Plate start in mind so they have to think the 1600m won’t be a problem. If she runs a strong mile she can win, but since she hasn’t made it yet, I think it’s hard to support her with confidence. verdict: Top 4 chance.


I thought her fifth in the memesie was excellent after almost nine months without a run. She’s three out of three in second place and the Flemington Mile will be very close to her. She has an explosive twist of the foot and while we didn’t actually see it at the last start at Caulfield, you might see it on Saturday. She is also unbeaten over 1,600m, including a dominant win in the Group 1 Railway Stakes in November. Drawn to get a good run in Gate 5. verdict: Great opportunity.

Overall rating: Aegon (9) – Fifty Stars (2) – Inspirational Girl (13) – Mo’unga (10).

Betting strategy $ 200: $ 60 each way Aegon (9); $ 25 each way Fifty Stars (2); Boxed Trifecta 2, 9, 10, 12, 13 for $ 30 (50% of dividend).

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