The Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival continues this Saturday with 10-races set for Makybe Diva Stakes Day at Flemington.  

The Group 1 feature has attracted a small field of milers, including last-start Memsie Stakes winner Mr Brightside and last year’s runner-up, Alligator Blood.  

The Let’s Elope Stakes also shapes as a key lead up race looking ahead to the Empire Rose Stakes, while there’s enormous value to be found in a wide-open edition of the Bobbie Lewis Quality.  

For our best bets across the entire program, check out our 2023 Makybe Diva Stakes Day Preview here! 

Race 1 - 12:10pm AEST

Robert Cram Sprint (1100 METRES)

Cause For Concern is open to natural improvement stepping back in class. 

Shawn Mathrick’s lightly-raced four-year-old has spent time competing against tougher company, running second to Renosu in the Creswick three back, and finishing only 2.5 lengths off It’sourtime in the Aurie’s Star last month.  

He’s been given another good gap between runs and the wide gate will likely aid him to get back in the run.

Ben Allen rode him to a win here at Headquarters earlier in his prep, so there’s a bit to like.  

2 Units Cause For Concern 

Race 2 - 12:40pm AEST

The Melbourne Cup Carnival On Sale Now (2500 METRES)

Shaiyhar looks to have found that winning feeling coming off comfortable five-length win over 2000m here five weeks ago.  

The Camelot five-year-old bolted in to win with plenty in hand under Blake Shinn, gifted a tidy ride in behind the speed before finding the clear at the top of the straight.  

Jamie Kah gets the ride on this occasion and she should adopt similar tactics from out wide.

With wins over further in Europe and a recent trial under his belt, I think he’s the one to beat with some of the Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup in his sights. 

2 Units Shaiyhar 

Race 3 - 1:15pm AEST

Listed The Sofitel (1400 METRES)

Kalino was one of the runs of the day at Caulfield a fortnight ago for mine, seen working home nicely down the outside to run third behind Devoted and Here To Shock over the same trip.  

This is his first look at Flemington, but he draws to get forward in the run with little early speed engaged, and he has held his own in a few Group 3 races of late.  

Jye McNeil has a good feel for him now, and in well at the weights, I think the pair will take catching.  

1 Unit Kalino  

Race 4 - 1:50pm AEST

Listed Winning Edge Presentations Poseidon Stakes (1100 METRES)

Maharba is a promising three-year-old making his return for Grahame Begg.  

The Pride of Dubai gelding was super honest during a brief autumn campaign, winning the Talindert fresh over the track and distance here at Headquarters, before going on to run second to subsequent Golden Slipper winner Shinzo in the Pago Pago.  

I think he’s worth forgiving on his run in the Sires’ Produce last time out given the state of the track, and everything we’ve seen during recent jump outs suggests he’s in for a big prep.

With plenty of speed under the hood, I think he can offset the wide gate and run a huge race.  

2 Units Maharba 

Race 5 - 2:30pm AEST

Listed Exford Plate (1400 METRES)

Legacies gets her first look at Headquarters after returning runner-up in a hotly contested edition of the McNeil Stakes a fortnight ago at Caulfield.  

Peter Moody’s filly sat midfield but was caught wide rounding the turn, but she did fight on bravely to be beaten only a length in a good go for the line. 

This is a slightly easier contest back a level, and as we saw when she won the ANZAC Day Stakes earlier in the year, she’s armed with a serious turn of foot.

Jamie Kah sticks and if they can somehow find cover from another awkward gate, I think they’ll be hard to beat.  

2 Units Legacies  

Race 6 - 3:05pm AEST

Listed Cap D'Antibes Stakes (1100 METRES)

Appin Girl is a Queensland-based filly that should give this a real shake in her first run back.  

The Capitalist three-year-old won by a clear margin on debut at the Sunshine Coast back in April, returning in time for the Brisbane Winter Carnival where she took out the Listed Dalrello Stakes before running a narrow second in the Group 2 Champagne Classic.  

She’s armed with plenty of late speed this girl, as we saw when she won her recent trial at Doomben a couple of weeks back.

If Mark Zahra can settle midfield and find the clear late, she’ll be tough to run down.  

2 Units Appin Girl  

Race 7 - 3:40pm AEST

Group 1 PFD Food Services Makybe Diva Stakes (1600 METRES)

Interesting edition of the Makybe Diva Stakes with all except two coming off a run in the Memsie a fortnight ago.

Princess Grace was super brave in that race, struggling to get off the fence when rounding the turn, but really finding the line nicely along the inside to run second to Mr Brightside.  

The American mare hasn’t missed a place in four starts since arriving in Australia, and I think she’ll really appreciate getting out to the mile now in her third run back.

She’s typically improved with racing, and from a wider gate this time, I think she’ll run another huge race. 

2 Units Princess Grace  

Race 8 - 4:20pm AEST

Group 2 Furphy Let’s Elope Stakes (1400 METRES)

Amelia’s Jewel makes her long-awaited Melbourne debut at a very short price to lead off her prep.  

The boom West Australian mare has been all class over in Perth, winning the Group 1 Northerly Stakes back in December, and then returning in April where she won the Roma Cup by a clear margin.  

She’s a first-up specialist with three wins from three starts, and it’s hard to find fault with her recent trial work.

The gate is the only real query, but resuming over 1400m, I think she wins the Let’s Elope Stakes.  

3 Units Amelia’s Jewel  

Race 9 - 4:55pm AEST

Group 2 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1400 METRES)

Najem Suhail steps out in search of his hat-trick coming off a dominant two-length win at The Valley three weeks ago.  

The promising six-year-old held his rivals at bay leading from barrier to box, really finding something extra over the final furlong to kick clear and win well.  

He’s drawn all the favours along the rail for the Bobbie Lewis Quality, and although this is the toughest assignment he’s faced, he more than measures up.  

2 Units Najem Suhail  

Race 10 - 5:25pm AEST

Australian Childhood Foundation Plate (1700 METRES)

Suizuro can a nice race at odds here for the Busuttin and Young team.  

The son of Real Impact is worth forgiving on his first-up run at Caulfield, unsuited by the distance and never given a real chance considering he was always wide. 

He’s still looking for further, but this rise to 1700m is more up his alley, and he should be aided by the inside gate on this occasion.  

1 Unit E/W Suizuro