We are set for an outstanding day of racing at Flemington for 2017 Makybe Diva Stakes Day on Saturday, highlighted by the second Group 1 feature race of the Melbourne Spring Carnival.
Eight of the nine races on 2017 Makybe Diva Stakes Day will be contested at black type level and we have analysed every horse in each, in order to help you find a winner.
All the action on Makybe Diva Stakes Day will get underway with the running of the Listed Cap D’Antibes Stakes (1100m) at 12:30pm), while the feature race is slated to be run and won at 4:15pm.
Race 1 (12:30pm) Listed Cap D’Antibes Stakes (1100m)
The racing on 2017 Makybe Diva Stakes Day gets underway in style when thirteen fillies step out in this year’s Cap D’Antibes Stakes. Godolphin runner Jorda (barrier 11) resumed for a smart third in the Group 3 San Domenico Stakes (1100m) behind Pariah and will take plenty of benefit into this race. Ploverset (barrier 5) failed to fire last time out, but is a proven performer down the Flemington straight and has the class to figure in this race. Roomooz (barrier 9) held on to beat a classy field to the line at The Valley first-up and will also improve into this race, while Moet Rose (barrier 8) faces a big step up in class, but was a smart winner on debut and is primed for a big run.
Tip: No. 1 Jorda ($2.70)
Race 2 (1:05pm) Listed Pin & Win Stakes (1400m)
The Pin & Win Plate has drawn a typically smart field of three-year-olds on Saturday, but the race is undoubtedly highlighted by the first campaign appearance of Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas favourite Royal Symphony (barrier 6). The Domesday colt was outstanding through his three starts as a two-year-old and was last seen winning the Listed Taj Rossi Series Final (1600m) by close to five lengths. Hualalai (barrier 9) ran a credible fifth in the Group 3 McNeil Stakes (1200m) last time out and will relish a step up in distance, while Garrard (barrier 3) has form around some of the best horses of her age group and is not without a chance from an inside draw and with only 54kgs in tow. South Australian raider Éclair Sunshine (barrier 2) has produced a number of smart performances through his short career and could receive the run of the race from an inside draw.
Tip: No. 1 Royal Symphony ($2.20)
Race 3 (1:40pm) Listed The Sofitel (1400m)
An outstanding field has been taken for The Sofitel and there is winning potential across the board. Veteran Dibayani (barrier 1) will launch his Spring Carnival campaign in the race and has the class to beat this field, but may need the run to find his best form. Burning Passion (barrier 4) has steadily built to the task this time and has the opportunity to return to winning form here, while Chocolate Holic (barrier 11) savaged the line for a close second a Caulfield a fortnight ago and is primed for another big run, likewise Theanswermyfriend (barrier 15). Snitzson (barrier 2) has been reasonably luckless in his two starts this time, but is drawn and weighted well in this race and is rock-hard fit. Group 1 performer Odeon (barrier 14) will resume, but will likely need the run and a step up in distance to figure.
Tip: No. 6 Snitzson – Each Way ($7/$2.60)
Race 4 (2:15pm) Group 2 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m)
A smart field of twelve sprinters will contest the Bobbie Lewis Quality, including Perth raider Scales Of Justice (barrier 9). The Not A Single Doubt gelding has dominated the major races in the nation’s west since summer and while this race is short of his best, his class is sure to count for plenty. Newmarket Handicap winner Redkirk Warrior (barrier 4) is seeking a berth in The Everest, is a proven first-up performer and clearly relishes racing on the Flemington straight. So Si Bon (barrier 8) has been racing out of his skin this time and is primed for another win run in the Bobbie Lewis Quality, with only 53kgs in tow and Craig Williams in the saddle. Voodoo Lad (barrier 2) beat a classy field to the line in the Group 3 The Heath (1100m) first-up and will be extremely difficult to beat.
Tip: No. 2 Voodoo Lad ($3.90)
Race 5 (2:55pm) Group 2 Danehill Stakes (1200m)
Eleven three-year-olds will step out in a stacked Danehill Stakes field, including Jukebox (barrier 2), Catchy (barrier 8) and Summer Passage (barrier 9). Jukebox is yet to taste anything but success through his short racing career and resumed for a smart win in the Group 3 Vain Stakes (1100m) on August 19th. Winner of the Group 1 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) most notably in autumn, Catchy ran a close second in the Group 3 Quezette Stakes (1100m) first-up this time and will only improve into this race. Kiwi raider Summer Passage won the Group 1 Sistema Stakes (1200m) in his homeland on March 16th before crossing the ditch for second behind Invader in the Group 1 Inglis Sires’ (1400m). Azazel (barrier 11), Esperance (barrier 1) and Limestone (barrier 7) are all winning chances.
Tip: No. 2 Jukebox ($5)
Race 6 (3:35pm) Group 2 Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m)
A capacity field of mares has been taken for the Let’s Elope Stakes and there is a case to be made for more than half the group. I Am A Star (barrier 5) has also been confirmed in the Makybe Diva Stakes field, but she is drawn ideally in this field and should prove extremely difficult to beat, should trainer Shane Nichols elect to saddle the mare against her own sex. Oregon’s Day (barrier 16) posted an impressive win at Caulfield a fortnight ago, but steps up in class here and has been charged with overcoming a tough and wide draw. Jennifer (barrier 2) is sure to have taken plenty of benefit from her first-up run for sixth in the Ladbrokes Cockram Stakes (1200m) and will enjoy a step up in trip. Swampland (barrier 4) has found career-best form this time and has the opportunity to post a value win at black type level.
Tip: No. 5 Jennifer Lynn – Each Way ($12/$4.10)
Race 7 (4:15pm) Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m)
Owing to Winx running in the George Main Stakes in Sydney, the field for this year’s Makybe Diva Stakes is stacked and there is winning potential across the board. Godolphin import Hartnell (barrier 8) is arguably the class horse of the excellent Makybe Diva Stakes field and was excellent in the Group 2 PB Lawrence Stakes (1400m) first-up. Melbourne Cup winner Kerrin McEvoy climbs into the saddle and the Authorized gelding will be extremely difficult to beat at a mile. Black Heart Bart (barrier 7) and Le Romain (barrier 5) are both multiple Group 1 winners and have returned to racing in slick form this time, while Humidor (barrier 10) will also enjoy a step up in distance and is primed for a big run third-up. Jon Snow (barrier 3), Hey Doc (barrier 12) and Inference (barrier 9) are all live chances.
Tip: No. 1 Hartnell ($1.85)
Race 8 (4:55pm) Listed Japan Racing Association Trophy (2500m)
The final black type race on Makybe Diva Stakes Day will see fifteen stayers step out for the JRA Trophy. Crocodile Rock (barrier 10) has returned to racing in typically smart form this time and should prove extremely difficult to beat in this race, particularly with only 54kgs in tow and Kerrin McEvoy in the saddle. Macedon Lodge will saddle six horses in this race, with the likes of Almandin (barrier 8) Bondi Beach (barrier 4) and Hans Holbein (barrier 15) all confirmed as starters. Loresho (barrier 7), Charlevoix (barrier 3) and Yogi (barrier 5) all loom as live chances in this talent-rich field.
Tip: No. 1 Almandin – Each Way ($6.50/$2.55)
Race 9 (5:25pm) Sofitel Girls’ Day Out Handicap (1700m)
A capacity field will step out in the final race on Makybe Diva Stakes Day. Cult hero Extra Zero (barrier 2) will relish the conditions of this race and is drawn to get a good run behind the pace from an inside draw, while Cool Chap (barrier 16) is sure to have taken plenty of benefit from a first-up run for fifth at Caulfield a fortnight ago. Jacquinot Bay (barrier 13) has been strong and consistent this time and will enjoy the wide Flemington track. Hardham (barrier 10) has only continued to improve as he has matured and he should relish a step up to 1700m second-up in this race. Noted stayers Annus Mirabilis (barrier 4), Big Memory (barrier 5) and Gallic Chieftain (barrier 11) will all resume in the rtace.
Tip: No. 13 Jacquinot Bay – Each Way ($15/$5.20)