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.
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.