The feature race at Flemington on Saturday is the Group 2 Makybe Diva Stakes at Flemington racecourse. Southern Speed is the current favourite although punters have also backed Manighar to beat last years Caulfield Cup winner. View our runner by runner preview and tips of the Makybe Diva Stakes.
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Former Melbourne Cup winner returning to racing and despite being a 9yo only faces the starter for the 29th time. Always takes a couple of runs before he gets to races over a suitable distance.
Was in stellar form during the Autumn/Winter carnivals and registered three successive Group One races – Australian Cup, Ranvet Stakes and BMW. Won first up last prep over this distance and took his fresh record to 2 wins and 2 placings from four attempts. Drawn to be prominent throughout.
Was in fine form this time last year and after winning the Listed Bart Cummings, was placed in the Group One Mackinnon and Group Two Zipping Classic. One had the one start his year finishing well down the track in a Group Two event at Caulfield in February. Will need this one and a few more before we see the best of him.
4. MIDAS TOUCH
Has had two runs in this time in, finishing well down the track in the Aurie’s Star and Memsie Stakes. On those two efforts, a win here would be a drastic form improvement.
5. DECEMBER DRAW
Hasn’t raced since starting a 9/4 favourite in last year’s Caulfield Cup after winning three straight including the Group One Turnbull Stakes. Has had two first up runs here in Australia for a win and a close second. Kept safe at $7.00 in early markets but after a year off, happy to let him go around here to get a gauge on him.
Former European stayer now with the Anthony Freedman yard who has impressed in his four Australian starts to date. One of his two wins came in the Group One Doomben Cup beating Lights of Heaven and Manighar in the process. Has had two winning barrier trial for this so expect to be a bit more forward than most.
7. SECOND EFFORT
Won the Group Two P B Lawrence two starts back on a Heavy Track at Caulfield and than put in a career best effort last start running third in the Memsie Stakes (beaten 3 ¼) behind Sincero. Eight of his nine career wins have come on Heavy and Slow.
Ran well in middle distance races last Spring and was rewarded for his consistency with a win in the Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes. Had three runs in the Autumn but failed to produce and was spelled. Returns here with two barrier trial under his belt but wait for later.
9. SHENZHOU STEED
Won the Listed Ipswich Cup and then bolted in on a Heavy track when claiming the Caloundra Cup. A different kettle of fish here under the WFA for conditions and much more depth.
Has always shown he has his fair share of ability and started to put it together last prep taking out the SA Derby. A four year old by Zabeel who should improve with age but certainly starting this campaign in the deep end.
11. SOUTHERN SPEED
Last year’s Caulfield Cup winner who has had two runs this time including a last start win in the Listed Penny Edition over in Adelaide. Very rarely runs a bad race and with a few runs under her belt and good draw, expect here to be right in the finish.
12. DANCE WITH HER
She ran second at her most recent start behind Lights of Heaven in the Group 2 Brisbane Cup. There’s no doubting she’ll be trying her best, she has won eleven of her forty starts but will struggle in this company.
A very good race with a number of Spring contenders kicking off their campaigns.Hard to go past the two favourites here in Manighar ($3.50) and Southern Speed ($3.30). Both have the runs on the board and from their respective draws, they should get every chance to produce their best. Slight leaning to Manighar who improved with each run for Moody last prep and believe the Trainer knows now what it takes to have him produce his best. Manighar’s stablemate Mawingo is not to be underestimated and has been primed for this race with two good trial hit-outs. His wide draw does him no favours.