Punters Not Impressed as Makybe Diva Elevated to Group 1

By: Isaac Ling
June 11th, 2013

We don’t want it.

That was the message from the racing public following today’s announcement that the Makybe Diva Stakes has been upgraded to Group 1 level.

The race will be one of 72 Group 1 races held in the 2013-14 season and comes on the back of recent upgrades to the Memsie Stakes, Moir Stakes and Canterbury Stakes.

“The Makybe Diva Stakes plays an important role in the Melbourne Spring Carnival and exceeds all the required criteria for upgrade,” Australian Pattern Commitee Chairman Alan Brown said.

“It is the only remaining Australian Group 2 race eligible at present for promotion to Group 1 and we are delighted that the Asian Pattern Committee has agreed with our submission.”

While the move is sure to please breeders, it has come under fire from many factions of the racing industry.

The announcement sparked plenty of discussion on twitter, with the consensus being the move has been made simply to benefit breeders and the quality of Group 1 races in Australia is diminishing due to saturation.

“Oh good, we have yet another Group 1 race….Makybe Diva Stakes upgraded! #sarcasm,” Sportsman Journalist Ray Hickson said.

“Can we make the #alicespringscup a Group 1 too,” Jockey Dominc Tourneur joked.

“I don’t loathe the Makybe Diva upgrade as much as I do the Memsie upgrade but it still appears a case of #PatternMadness,” said Analyst Adam Blencowe from Racingandsports.com.au.

“How can the Makybe Diva Stakes be upgraded to Group 1 level whilst the Feehan doesn’t? #joke #toomanyG1s,” quipped Joshua Kayll.

“So there you go another race upgraded for breeder purposes not the good of racing,” Jack Hockman said.

These were just some of the many negative opinions about the upgrade, with little if any support for the move evident on social media.

The feel from punters is that a Group 1 should be a target not a lead-up but that is exactly what the Makybe Diva is.

At 1600m under weight-for-age conditions, the race is often used early in the campaigns of horses being aimed at races such as the Cox Plate, Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup.

The Makybe Diva will run at Flemington in early September and as part of the upgrade has received a prizemoney increase from $300,000 to $350,000.

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