2022 Makybe Diva Stakes Runner By Runner Preview & Tips

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Thu 8th September 2022


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Named in honour of three-time Melbourne Cup winning champion, Makybe Diva, the Makybe Diva Stakes is the second Group 1 of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival. Held at Flemington over 1600m, the $1m weight-for-age contest is used traditionally as a lead up race to the Cox Plate, and under Racing Victoria’s new scheme, the winner of this race is eligible for a $1m bonus providing they can also win the Moonee Valley feature in late October.

Last year’s Makybe was taken out by Queensland stayer, Incentivise, with Brett Prebble on board, who then went on to win the Turnbull Stakes, Caulfield Cup and finish a gallant second in the Melbourne Cup behind Verry Elleegant.

Looking at the market for this year’s race, Dabble has the Price/Kent Jnr trained, I’m Thunderstruck, favourite at $2.40, after a slashing return in the Memsie a fortnight ago. Former Queensland galloper, Alligator Blood, is currently on the second line of betting at $4.80, ahead of Cascadian at $6.00. Western Empire is also well in contention after an even first up effort and is currently a $6.50 chance.

However, we know with horse racing that anything can happen and tactics play a major role in these small fields. So, we have dissected each of the horses’ chances for you and provided our horse racing tips! Read on below to find our runner by runner preview of the 2022 Makybe Diva Stakes along with The Shark’s best tips.

1. I’m Thunderstruck (1)

Jockey – Mark Zahra 59kg
Trainer – Mick Price & Michael Kent Jnr

Put the writing on the wall first up in the Memsie, where he sprouted wings late to finish second to Snapdancer. Will appreciate the Flemington mile here second up, the same trip he finished second to Zaaki in the All Star Mile earlier this year. The only query will be how much speed is on up front and the inside gate is no advantage for a horse with his racing style. In saying that, he does look the horse they have to hold out.

2. Cascadian (7)
Jockey – Blake Shinn 59kg
Trainer – James Cummings

I’m Thunderstruck was the eye-catcher first up in the Memsie, but this bloke wasn’t far behind in terms of a brilliant return, and his late sectionals backed that up. Although he’s yet to win at Flemington, it’s a track he excels at and is a three-time G1 place getter here over the mile. The wide gate gives jockey, Blake Shinn, the opportunity to see how the first furlong unfolds and it’s hard to see him missing a cheque here.

3. Regal Power (3)
Jockey – Damien Oliver 59kg
Trainer – Danny O’Brien

Former WA heavyweight who resumed with a good effort in the PB Lawrence behind the in-form, Mr Brightside. He’s unbeaten over the mile and usually improves rapidly off his first up run. Gets the services of the GOAT, Damien Oliver, in the saddle and should enjoy a nice trail from the low draw. Don’t dismiss.

4. Alligator Blood (2)
Jockey – Tim Clark 59kg
Trainer – Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott

Stradbroke Handicap winner who had little luck last start in the Memsie. Looks the likely leader here and gets one of the country’s best front running jockeys on his back. He won the G1 Australian Guineas here over the mile as a 3YO and must be respected on his best form.

5. Mo’unga (8)
Jockey – Jamie Kah 59kg
Trainer – Annabel Neasham

Raced in restricted room first up in the Winx Stakes, but nonetheless was a shade disappointing. On a positive note, he did finish second in this race last year behind Incentivise, and will appreciate the bigger track here second up. Not the worst.

6. Nonconformist (6)
Jockey – Jordan Childs 59kg
Trainer – Grahame Begg

Got back and held his ground first up in the Memsie. Will most likely race a bit handier here and like most of these, will appreciate the step up in trip, but I think we can put him on the shelf for one more run and wait until he gets out to 2000m+.

7. Western Empire (5)
Jockey – Damian Lane 59kg
Trainer – Danny O’Brien

Was well supported first up in the Memsie and ran an honest race behind Snapdancer. He was resuming from a long spell there and looked to peak on his run the last furlong. He should have taken a lot of improvement from that run and out to the mile here second up looks a big threat to his rivals. Go close.

8. She’s Ideel (4)
Jockey – Ben Melham 57kg
Trainer – Ciaron Maher & David Eustace

Lone mare of the field who resumes here for the new stable, after formerly being trained by Bjorn Baker in Sydney. Capable of running a good race fresh, but is on a Cups path and may find them a bit slick here first up over the mile.

Final Word

Although this year’s Makybe Diva Stakes is a small field, it certainly doesn’t lack the talent and intrigue of an early spring Group 1 feature.

Tactics are going to play a key role here, as they always do in small fields, and the Waterhouse/Bott trained, Alligator Blood, looks the likely leader. He didn’t have much luck a fortnight ago in the Memsie, but should have no excuses here. If he gets a couple of soft sectionals mid race, he will be hard to run down with master front-running jockey, Tim Clark, on board.

Former WA star, Western Empire, should also roll forward from his middle gate and should have come on a truckload from his first up run. If the race is run at a moderate clip he should have the turn of foot to put away Alligator Blood, and be good enough to hold off the late challenges of I’m Thunderstruck and Cascadian, who will no doubt be charging home the final furlong. At the $6.50 on offer he looks a good each way bet and goes on top in this for mine.

2021/22 WA Horse of the Year, Regal Power, can’t be left out of calculations. He chased hard first up behind Mr Brightside, who we saw destroy his rivals last Saturday and skyrocket to the top-end of Cox Plate betting. He should relish the mile second up and Flemington is a big tick.

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7. Western Empire

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Tom has had a passion for the racing industry from the time he could talk. Wether it was at school, on smoko or in his own spare time, he always had his head in the form guide.He has worked hands on in the industry for years for some of Australia’s most highly regarded trainers. As a track rider, he has put the polish on some of the best horse flesh to grace the turf in recent years including the grey flash, Chautauqua, Golden slipper winner, Mossfun and sprinter-turned-sire, Deep Field to name a few.Tom has recently hung up the boots to focus solely on his punting and tipping services. With the objective of finding plenty of winners and value in the marketplace, you’ll be sure to have a fat wallet following his feature race previews.