The 2015 Makybe Diva Stakes field has been released and a capacity field of 16 runners are set to contest the Group 1 event that will be held at Flemington on Saturday.
There was speculation in the last 24 hours that talented four-year-olds Alpine Eagle and Hi World would not earn a place in the Makybe Diva Stakes field, but the duo snuck into the race after the connections of Set Square, Mutual Regard and Moriarty elected not to include them in the acceptances.
Hi World is set to have the second race start of his 2015 Spring Racing Carnival campaign and he is sure to relish the step-up to 1600 metres after he looked slightly one-paced when he finished a credible fifth behind Boban in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 29.
Alpine Eagle will also have the second race start of his spring campaign in the Makybe Diva Stakes after he returned to the races with a fast-finishing second place finish in the Listed Penny Edition Stakes (1600m) at Morphettville on August 22.
Hi World and Alpine Eagle are not the only four-year-olds that have been included in the 2015 Makybe Diva Stakes field and Mongolian Khan, Volkstok’n’barrell, Magicool and Gust Of Wind are also set to contest the $400,000 event on Saturday.
Mongolian Khan will return to the races for the first time since he took out the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) at Royal Randwick on April 6 and he be at his best over more ground, but he showed that he had speed in his legs in two recent barrier trials in New Zealand.
Volkstok’n’barrell hit the line strongly in the Memsie Stakes and is sure to take plenty of benefit from the run, while Magicool was never able to get into the same race.
Gust Of Wind has impressed trainer John Sargent with his trackwork this preparation and the Darci Brahma mare was far from disgraced in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on August 22.
The Memsie Stakes is set to be the key form guide to the Makybe Diva Stakes and fast-finishing winner Boban has the chance to replicate the feat of Dissident and complete the Memsie Stakes/Makybe Diva Stakes double.
Entirely Platinum toughed it out to the line to finish second in the Memsie Stakes and he will have the chance to go one better in the Makybe Diva Stakes this weekend, while imported stayer Dandino Darren Weir-trained Prince Of Penzance, Caulfield Cup runner-up Rising Romance and Chris Waller-trained Weary all come out of the same race.
Fawkner was scratched from the Memsie Stakes after he was allocated a wide barrier draw, but he will return to the races for the first time since he finished tenth in the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) last year.
The Reset gelding was only narrowly denied by Dissident in the Makybe Diva Stakes last year, but hr may need a bit of luck in the 2015 edition of the race after he was allocated barrier 14.
Veteran gelding Happy Trails, Wez Hunter-trained Smokin’ Joey and imported stayer Our Ivanhowe round out the 2015 Makybe Diva Stakes field, while Awesome Rock is the first emergency.