Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival Group 1 racing continues at Flemington Racecourse this afternoon with a star-studded field of weight-for-age milers facing off in the Makybe Diva Stakes 2016.
Darren Weir’s Perth expat is in flying form at this level and comes off the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) win at Caulfield.
He’s hard to go past, but on the Soft track over the extra metres could prove vulnerable.
His biggest danger according to the Makybe Diva Stakes betting markets at $6 (in from $6.50) is the fellow Weir-trained Palentino ($6) in gate six with Mark Zahra in the saddle.
In the autumn this Teofilo stallion won at the track / distance defeating Tarzino in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) and comes off a fifth to Black Heart Bart in the Memsie.
The step up in distance third-up at Flemington (3-2-1-0) will suit Palentino to a tee and he could nearing his best after the two earlier runs at Caulfield.
The other single figure hopes are also both firming with the Lindsay Park-trained Memsie Stakes runner-up Rising Romance ($9.50 into $8.50) and Our Ivanhowe ($11 into $9).
Both are proven over the mile and a half, and will be at their best later this spring over more metres, but are right up to the class of the Makybe Diva at WFA.
Rising Romance jumps from barrier two with Damian Lane retaining the ride on the Group 1 winning mare who doesn’t love Flemington (5-0-2-1), but is more than capable of getting into the money again.
The Lee & Anthony Freedman-trained German import Our Ivanhowe ran third in the Caulfield Cup last year and won the Doomben Cup over 2000m in Brisbane last time out.
He has his first run of the spring here and goes well fresh (7-3-1-0), but is yet to win over anything less than 2000m.
There’s been a notable drift on Tarzino ($9.50 out to $11) giving nice value to Mick Price’s VRC Derby and Rosehill Guineas winner.
The four-year-old son of Tavistock has plenty of nice formlines to follow into this and is better for the Memsie Stakes eighth last time out.
Also on the drift is Alpine Eagle ($13 out to $14) who is the sole five-year-old in the mix, Tony McEvoy’s galloper second to Wandjina in the 2015 Australian Guineas and very lightly raced since due to injury setbacks.
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