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Big track specialist Grunt could return to Flemington for the 2018 Melbourne Cup after making a one acted affair in winning the Group 1 $750,000 PFD Food Services Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) today.

Grunt, above, wins the 2018 Makybe Diva Stakes at Flemington. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Grunt, above, wins the 2018 Makybe Diva Stakes at Flemington. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Flemington specialist Grunt had won twice at headquarters previously, including a win over the same course and distance as the Makybe Diva Stakes when he won the Group 1 $1m Australian Guineas during the 2018 Melbourne Autumn Carnival.

Winning trainer Mick Price said that he hasn’t mapped a solid Spring Carnival program for Grunt but he is nominated for all the major races including the Group 1 $7.3m Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 6.

“I think he would be a beautiful staying horse. I wouldn’t worry me if we ended up in a Melbourne Cup,” Price said.

“With a lighter weight, 54kg I think in a Melbourne Cup. It didn’t hurt Rekindling to be lightly raced, so I will take a line off of that rookie Joseph O’Brien and maybe run him in a Melbourne Cup at the end of this prep.”

Another superb ride from Damien Oliver saw the champion jockey win his fifth Makybe Diva Stakes when he drove Grunt ($12) to the front at the 250m to record a two lengths victory over the Darren Weir trained Kings Will Dream ($5) with the Kiwi Jon Snow ($31) in third place.

The $3.70 favourite Kementari finished in fourth place while Humidor ($6) never threatened to finish seventh.

Grunt is listed as a $31 chance for the 2018 Melbourne Cup with Ladbrokes.com.au.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.