The Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes will be run at Flemington this Saturday under weight-for-age conditions. The race is held over 1600m which is baffling considering the great mare was one of the greatest stayers in Australian racing history.
Owner Tony Santic purchased Tugela who was in foal to Desert King in the UK at the Tattersall’s Sale in 1998 for 60,000 Guineas. Tugela gave birth to a filly and she was offered for sale at the 1999 Tatts Newmarket foal sale but did not make the asking price. So a young Makybe Diva was shipped to Australia to start a racing career. This was a decision by Tony Santic that he would not regret as Makybe Diva would go down in history as one of the all time greats!
In honour of the great mare we have taken a trip down memory lane and compiled her best wins.
2003 Melbourne Cup
Makybe Diva did not spring up out of nowhere to win her first Melbourne Cup. She won 2 stakes races in her first preparation including the Werribee Cup (2000m) and the Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2500m) in 2002 which qualified her for the Melbourne Cup the next year. She started second favourite in the Melbourne Cup after running a closing 4th in the Caulfield Cup. Only recently paired with the horse, Glen Boss gave the mare a beautiful ride as she stormed home to win her first Cup.
2004 Sydney Cup
After running 3rd in both the Ranvet and BMW, Makybe Diva was sent out the 2nd favourite for the 2004 Sydney Cup. She became the first mare to win the Sydney/Melbourne Cup double in the same season.
2004 Melbourne Cup
Makybe Diva would have a similar campaign at her second attempt to win the Melbourne Cup. She beat all but Elvstroem in the Caulfield Cup and started the punters elect in the driving rain in 2004. It was another absolute peach of a ride by Glen Boss. He did such a great job of saving ground and sneaking up the rail that Greg Miles didn’t call her until the 300m mark.
She returned in the Autumn to win the Australian Cup in Melbourne in record time before winning Sydney’s premiere Weight-For-Age race, The BMW. She was forced to dig deep and produce her best that day, having to chase down the front running champ Grand Armee. Cue a spine tingling call from Ladbrokes own, Mark Shean.
2005 Cox Plate
Makybe Diva was in sparkling form heading into her first and only attempt at a Cox Plate. She won the Turnbull Stakes at her previous start and started even money in the weight-for-age classic at Moonee Valley. Boss knew he was on the best horse that day and ditched his ride-for-luck style on the mare. She peeled 8 wide on the turn and cruised to victory.
2005 Melbourne Cup
Was she ever in doubt? Well, rounding the turn in the 2005 Melbourne Cup and shooting for her record breaking 3rd straight Cup win, Glen Boss had the mare behind a wall of horses. He didn’t panic though and found some space in the big Flemington straight and the ‘Champion became a Legend’. The only horse to win the Melbourne Cup three times, a record breaking weight for a mare and the second highest weighted winner since Think Big won his second Cup in 1975.
Greatest Cup Never Run
For the 150th anniversary of the Melbourne Cup all previous 149 cups were analysed and a fictional race was run for the public to view (and criticise). There were only 2 horses that beat home the champion mare. Hard done by or spot on?