The 73rd Makybe Diva Stakes Fact Sheet

Form Focus Fact Sheet

The 73rd Makybe Diva Stakes

Formerly Known As: The Craiglee Stakes

1600m / Group 1 / Weight for age / First run: 1948

The Victoria Racing Club first staged the Craiglee Stakes at Flemington on Saturday, September 18, 1948.  Run at WFA (with allowances) over 10 furlongs, the race was won by Lungi, a 4yo stallion ridden by Jack Purtell. Trained by Bob Sinclair, Lungi had won the VRC St Leger in the autumn. He had won the Memsie Stakes prior to the Craiglee and was heavily supported for the 1948 Melbourne Cup. However, Lungi unfortunately broke down about a fortnight before the Cup.

Traditionally run in early September, the VRC decided to reduce the race distance to 8 furlongs in 1965, then with the metric system being adopted in 1972, the distance was amended to 1600m.

Awarded Group 2 status in 1979, the Craiglee Stakes underwent somewhat of a transformation in 2013, re-named the Makybe Diva Stakes and upgraded to Group 1.

Notable winners include Tobin Bronze, Comic Court, Rain Lover, Dulcify, Northerly, Light Fingers, Gay Icarus, Aquanita, Lord, Family of Man, Sir Dane, Dual Choice, How Now, Zabeel, Mahogany, Weekend Hussler and Ming Dynasty

Two horses have won dual editions – Chicquita (1950/1951) and Sailor’s Guide (1956/1957)

J.B. (Bart) Cummings is the race’s leading trainer with 6 wins – Light Fingers (1965), Lowland (1968), Gay Poss (1970), Tontonan (1975), Ming Dynasty (1977) and Prolific (1984). (His father J.M. (Jim) Cummings won with Comic Court in 1949). C.S. (Colin) Hayes is second to Cummings with 4 winners.

Top rider, also with 6 winners, is Roy Higgins, with 4 of those – Light Fingers (1965), Lowland (1968), Gay Poss (1970), Tontonan (1975) – for Bart Cummings. His other winners were Aquanita (1962) and Sir Dane (1964). Geoff Lane and Damien Oliver have 5 winners apiece in this race.

Profile

YEAR T/R WINNER TRAINER JOCKEY A/S OR
2019 G3-TRUE GATTING D MCAULIFFE J KAH 6G 108
2018 G3-TRUE GRUNT M PRICE D OLIVER 4H 106
2017 G4-TRUE HUMIDOR D WEIR D LANE 5G 112
2016 S5-TRUE PALENTINO D WEIR M ZAHRA 4H 105
2015 G3-TRUE FAWKNER R HICKMOTT D OLIVER 8G 115
2014 G3-TRUE DISSIDENT P MOODY B MELHAM 4H 112
2013 G4-TRUE FORETELLER C WALLER C NEWITT 7G 110
2012 G3-TRUE SOUTHERN SPEED TEAM MACDONALD C WILLIAMS 5M 113
2011 G4-TRUE LITTORIO N BLACKISTON C WILLIAMS 7G 110
2010 H8-TRUE SHOCKING M KAVANAGH M RODD 5H 115

T/R: (Track/Rail):

Rail True has been a 10-year constant. A genuine rain-affected surface last occurred in 2010, the day commencing Soft7 (downgraded mid-Meeting)

Trainers:

Waller (2013), Moody (2014) & O’Brien (2009) aim for win 2, while Leon Macdonald with Umrum-1998 & Southern Speed-2012 (in partnership with Andrew Gluyas) goes for a third. Tom Dabernig & Ben Hayes aim for win 9 (overall) for Lindsay Park

Jockeys:

Oliver has 5 wins: Marble Halls-1997, Sky Heights-1999, Vigor-2009, Fawkner-2015 & Grunt-2018. Others with rides: Williams (3) and Melham, Rodd & Zahra (1 each)

OR (Official Handicap Rating):

Ranges from a low of 105 to a high of 115. Seven of the past 10 winners were rating 110 or higher going into the race

Punting

Barriers:

Fair to say mid-to-high draws are not a negative. Barrier 14 also landed in 1989 (Apollo Run) and 1970 (Gay Poss)

SP (Favourite):

Been a dismal 10-year ride for the favourite with one scoring (Dissident-2014). In the prior decade, Weekend Hussler & Northerly were the only favs to win

Longshots:

Gatting last year ($101) is the longest-priced winner of the event, eclipsing 1968 winner Lowland who started at 50s. 6 of the past 10 winners have started at double-figure odds – value can readily be found in this race

Hotpots:

Sir Dane (1964) scored as 1/3 favourite, so he’s the shortest-priced winner ahead of Sailor’s Guide (1957) and Mahogany (1994), both saluting at 2/5f

Performance

YEAR WINNER A/S OR LAST START L3 NEXT RACE
2019 GATTING 6G 108 5th Idyllic Prince 2-2-5. 5th Underwood
2018 GRUNT 4H 106 8th Memsie 5-8. 6th Underwood
2017 HUMIDOR 5G 112 8th Memsie 6-8. 3rd Turnbull
2016 PALENTINO 4H 105 5th Memsie 4-5. 13th Epsom
2015 FAWKNER 8G 115 1ST UP 1ST UP 2nd Underwood
2014 DISSIDENT 4H 112 1st Memsie 1 2nd Rupert Clarke
2013 FORETELLER 7G 110 8th Warwick 8 12th Underwood
2012 SOUTHERN SPEED 5M 113 1st Penny Edition 3-1. 4th Underwood
2011 LITTORIO 7G 110 1ST UP 1ST UP RETIRED
2010 SHOCKING 5H 115 7th Liston 7 5th Underwood

Last Start:

Since the Feehan & Makybe Diva exchanged Saturdays in 2013, the Memsie has figured prominently as the winner’s lead-in race (4 from 7)

L3 (Last 3 Starts):

This panel shows just 2 first-up winners over the decade – both older geldings. Nothing overly revealing here, all variations (of last 3 starts) providing the winner

Next Race:

Quite surprising that this group of 10 horses were unable to advance to next-race success. Such is the competitive nature of Spring Group 1 events

Pros & Cons

Negative:

Can lightning strike twice with Gatting? The 2019 Makybe Diva winner at $101 seeks to deliver another blow-out in 2020. Returning winners have a 100% failure rate since the race was shortened to 1600m (mile) in 1965. Of the 12 who have attempted back-to-back wins, the best results are Mahogany (2nd-1995), Gay Icarus (3rd-1974) & Vigor (3rd-2010).

Mares have won 14 of the 72 editions with Southern Speed (2012), Saleous (1996) and Mannerism (1993) the only mares to win since 1984. (Mannerism was second past the post, winner stablemate Runyon later disqualified on a positive swab). How do Perfect Jewel, Princess Jenni and Miami Bound compare on a career-profile basis? Marginally inferior it must be said as they are yet to establish a 1-2-3 finish at G1 level against the males.

Beware:

A capacity field, the prospect of rain softening the track plus a diverse bunch of quality gallopers creates a complicated task for our favourite Russian Camelot. Combine this with a well-below par strike-rate (15%) for the race favourite over the past 20 years and it will be a significant victory should Russian Camelot deliver the goods. Worth noting – since 1993, the favourite has finished worse than fifth in only one edition (2000).

Positive:

By completing the Toorak Hcp-Cantala Stakes double last Spring, Fierce Impact became just the sixth horse to do this G1 double and the first since Magari (1982). He also matched All Shot (1972) and Gunsynd (1971), two of the best miler/mid-distance horses of the past 50 years.

Fierce Impact comes into the race second-up (positive) with a high-rating (112) and his 1600m form at G1 level over the past year is hard to fault.

Second-up with a similar race profile are Kings Will Dream and Master of Wine, the former highly effective off a 4-week gap – his draw (15) is an obvious obstacle. Master of Wine is hugely advantaged should the track get to Soft6 or worse – he wasn’t overly pressured first-up.

Meanwhile, the frequently deceptive Harlem (drier the better) can qualify as a value runner via the Memsie second-up.

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