The 2017 Makybe Diva Stakes Form Guide is essential reading for novice punters and racing fans ahead of Saturday’s outstanding feature race at Flemington Racecourse.
Twelve horses with plenty of Group 1 experience will step out in the 2017 Makybe Diva Stakes field and we have analysed every horse in detail, in order to help you find the winner.
Hartnell is a clear and justifiable favourite to win the 2017 Makybe Diva Stakes, but he will need to bring his best to beat the likes of Black Heart Bart, Le Romain and Hey Doc.
Godolphin import Hartnell is arguably the class horse of the Makybe Diva Stakes and should prove extremely difficult to beat in the feature race. A strong and consistent performer throughout his entire racing career so far, Hartnell has undoubtedly found his best form throughout the last twelve months and is a multiple Group 1 winner. Winning each of the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m), Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m) and Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m), finishing second to Winx in the Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) and third in the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) throughout an outstanding spring campaign in 2016, Hartnell was unable to return to winning form in autumn this year, but did finish second in both Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) and Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) most notably. Having delivered a classy field a resounding defeat in the Group 2 PB Lawrence Stakes (1400m) first-up this time, Hartnell will relish a step up in distance and is drawn well in barrier 8.
Black Heart Bart
Black Heart Bart has returned to racing in typically competitive form this time and is not without a chance of winning the Makybe Diva Stakes. A former Perth galloper, Black Heart Bart has undoubtedly found his best form since transferring to the care of Darren Weir and is subsequently a five-time Group 1 champion. Having taken out each of the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m) and Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) most notably in autumn, the Blackfriars gelding worked to the line well to finish third in the PB Lawrence Stakes first-up this time, before placing second behind Vega Magic in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) a fortnight ago.
New South Wales raider Le Romain is a multiple Group 1 winner, is at his best over a mile and is primed for a big performance in the Makybe Diva Stakes third-up. Winner of both the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) and Group 1 Cantala Stakes (1600m) most notably in 2016, the Hard Spun gelding found career-best form through the recent Autumn Carnival; winning the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) and finishing second in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) most notably. Le Romain has so-far finished second in the Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) and fifth in the Memsie Stakes this time and is rock-hard fit ahead of the Makybe Diva Stakes.
Kiwi import Tavago has not been seen at the races since autumn, but he is capable of a sharp first-up run and has trialled well in the lead-up to the Makybe Diva Stakes. Winner of the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) most notably in 2016, the Tavistock gelding resumed this year for a credible fifth behind Winx in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m), before returning to winning form in the Group 3 Sky High Stakes (2000m) most notably. Tavago is drawn ideally in barrier 6 and has the notable advantage of champion hoop Damien Oliver in the saddle.
French import Gailo Chop will carry winning form into the Makybe Diva Stakes and is a chance of finishing in the first three, at good odds. Announcing himself to the Australian racing fraternity during a hit-and-run Spring Carnival campaign in 2015 which heralded an impressive win in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m), Gailo Chop has been transferred to the care of Darren Weir this season and has been set for some of the Spring Carnival’s biggest races. Failing to beat a single runner home in the PB Lawrence Stakes first-up, the Deportivo gelding flew home to win the Listed Penny Edition Stakes (1400m) in Adelaide a fortnight ago and will enjoy a step up in distance.
Humidor has steadily built to the task this time in and would not look out of place in the Makybe Diva Stakes winner’s stall at healthy odds. A strong and consistent performer in his native New Zealand prior to being purchased and transferred to the care of Darren Weir, Humidor ran fourth in the Listed John Dillon Stakes (1400m) first-up this year before running a close second in both the Group 3 Carlyon Cup (1600m) and Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m). Breaking through for a maiden win at the highest level in the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m), the Teofilo gelding ended his campaign second in the Group 1 The BMW (2400m) and has finished around midfield in both the PB Lawrence Stakes and Memsie Stakes so-far this season.
European import and Group 1 winner Ventura Storm has plenty of class and should take plenty of natural improvement into what will be his second campaign run. Running second in the Group 1 Ladbrokes St Leger (2937m) and winning the Group 1 Premio Jockey Club (2414m) in Italy most notably in 2016, the Zoffany entire debuted in Australia for a credible fifth in the Archer Hall Of Fame Trophy (2000m) in May and resumed this time for seventh in the Listed Heatherlie Stakes (1700m) on September 2nd. In-form hoop Regan Bayliss takes the ride from the ideal barrier 4.
Outstanding Kiwi raider Jon Snow is sure to take plenty of benefit into his second-up run in the Makybe Diva Stakes and is another horse than will appreciate a step up to a mile. A strong and consistent performer in his homeland in summer and autumn, the Iffraaj gelding placed third in each of the Group 2 Great Northern Guineas (1600m), Group 1 Levin Classic (1600m), Listed Karaka 3yo Mile (1600m) and Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m). Crossing the ditch for impressive wins in the Group 2 Tulloch Stakes (2000m) and Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m), Jon Snow worked home well to finish sixth in the Memsie Stakes first-up and is a leading contender to finish in the first three and great odds this weekend.
Group 1 winner Hey Doc returns to his pet distance and track for the first time this season in the Makybe Diva Stakes and is another runner who is probably over the odds at his current quote. A strong and consistent performer throughout his entire racing career so far, Hey Doc resumed in autumn for third in the Group 3 Manfred Stakes (1200m), before posting consecutive wins in the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) and Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m). Hey Doc resumed this time for a smart win in the Group 3 Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m) and was last seen running on for fourth in the Memsie Stakes.
Group 1 winner Inference is another horse that will improve second-up and at a mile, but he will need some luck early in the Makybe Diva Stakes after drawing barrier 9. Inference capped a smart Spring Carnival preparation third in the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) last year and resumed this year in similarly impressive form; winning the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) and finishing second in the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) most notably. The son of So You Thin placed sixth in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) behind Winx first-up this time and has trialled fairly in the lead-up to this race.
Seaburge has been unable to return to his best form so-far in 2017 and he would need to muster an incredible overhaul of his recent performances to win the Makybe Diva Stakes. Having finished second in both the Group 1 Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas (1600m) and Group 1 Emirates Stakes (2000m) most notably last spring, the Sebring entire failed to make an impact through three autumn stars this year and failed to beat a single runner home in the Memsie Stakes first-up.
The only mare confirmed in the Makybe Diva Stakes field, Single Gaze also failed to produce much in the Memsie Stakes first-up, but has plenty of improvement left and will enjoy a step up to a mile on Saturday. A Group 1 winner having taken out the 2016 edition of the Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m), Single Gaze was a strong and consistent performer through late autumn and winter this year; winning both the Listed Tails Stakes (1600m) and Group 2 PJ O’Shea Stakes (2200m) and finishing second in the Group 2 Hollindale Stakes (1800m) and Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2200m) most notably.