Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
The most important Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival lead-up running this weekend is Flemington’s Makybe Diva Stakes 2012, the Races.com.au team’s insider tips and betting selections for which are detailed below.
With an impressive 12-horse field full of Group 1 winners engaged, this year’s edition of the $300,000 Group 2 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) should be a cracker and will provide punters with a telling guide for the season’s major races including the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups.
The race is scheduled to run as the sixth at Flemington with jump time scheduled for 3:35pm and there are two horses battling for favouritism in the Makybe Diva Stakes odds at bookmaker.com.au.
Resuming autumn champion Manighar currently occupies the first line of betting, the ace Peter Moody-trained import paying $3.30 to become just the third first-up winner of the event in the past 30 years and the second on the trot following the upset of $40 roughie Littorio 12 months ago.
He is followed closely in the markets by the Leon Macdonald and Andrew Gluyas-trained Southern Speed at $3.40, last year’s Caulfield Cup winner racing third-up for the season after two good runs in Adelaide including a victory in the Penny Edition Stakes last time out.
So does the horse Races.com.au have rated special to win the Makybe Diva Stakes 2012 come from this dynamic duo?
Or do we have one of the longer-priced hopefuls selected to score an upset such as Doomben Cup winner Mawingo ($5), Mark Kavanagh’s returning Flemington specialist December Draw ($8) or Ipswich – Caloundra Cup double winner Shenzhou Steeds ($26)?
Having studied the 2012 Makybe Diva Stakes Form Guide & Betting Preview below are our tips for the tantalising weight-for-age clash.
#6 Mawingo ($5)
- Won the Doomben Cup last time out so has class
- Beat Manighar by two lengths in that run
- Has a great first-up record (4-2-0-1)
- Won over this track and distance first up by two lengths in the autumn – their only run at the track to date
- Boasts the third best win rate of the field (36.36%) and the highest place percentage (81.82%)
- Good record over the mile (3-1-1-1)
#2 Manighar ($3.30)
- Triple Group 1 winner during the autumn and is deserving of their short price in the markets
- Well suited and proven in the weight-for-age arena
- Gets a draw in gate five
- Has won one of their three starts at Flemington and their only start over the mile
- Resumes here and has an impressive first-up record (4-2-1-1)
- Probably not ready to hit their peak yet but and might not have quite the same residual fitness as a seven-year-old to win like they did first-up over the mile at Caulfield back in February but will come close
- Second best place rate of the field (68.97%) behind Mawingo
- History is against them as the favourite as only one favourite has won the race in the past eight editions
#5 December Draw ($8)
- Hasn’t raced in nearly 12 months but expect a good return
- Trainer Mark Kavanagh wouldn’t be running them if he didn’t think he was ready to return so don’t stress about the long time out
- Is a specialist at the track undefeated in four runs at Flemington including a Group 1 Turnbull Stakes victory
- Has form over the mile (5-2-0-1) and is one of only three horses in the race to win over the Track & Distance which was first-up back in May
- Need to handle the 59kg under WFA, a weight they haven’t carried since June of 2009 when racing in Britain
Roughie We Like
#9 Shenzhou Steeds ($26)
- Boasts the best win rate of this field with 46.67%
- Local hope and is a winner over the Flemington mile back in May
- Runs first-up and has a decent record when resuming (4-1-1-0)
- Loves the 1600m (6-3-0-0)
- Would benefit if there was rain around having won the Caloundra Cup by seven lengths last time out on a Heavy (10) track but also has winning form on Good – Dead ground
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