Melbourne Cup winning trainer Darren Weir kept his star form at Flemington going winning the Makybe Diva Stakes 2016 quinella with Palentino beating home his better fancied stablemate Black Heart Bart.
Weir had the top two fancies in betting for the $500,000 Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) and the two came home for him with the result, but in reverse order to the bookies’ predictions.
Plenty of late money came in for Teofilo stallion Palentino in the weight-for-age race three runs in following two Caulfield runs this campaign from the autumn’s Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) winner at the Makybe Diva Stakes track / distance.
It was the stable’s super-consistent Memsie Stakes winner Black Heart Bart who jumped the short-priced favourite however having beaten home Palentino (5th) by nearly five lengths last time out.
Four-year-old Paletino made sharp improvement getting back to Flemington where he has now won three of his four starts out over a mile, the distance testing Weir’s former Perth-trained Blackfriars gelding Black Heart Bart.
It was Entirely Platinum who got the comfortable early lead in the first 200m in the Makybe Diva Stakes with the Memsie Stakes runner-up Rising Romance in second and eventual last-past-the-post Ayers Rock settled in third.
Ridden by four-time Makybe Diva Stakes winning hoop Damien Oliver, six-year-old Black Heart Bart got a lovely run in fourth on the rails just ahead of Jacquinot Bay who eventually finished fourth having run out of his skin.
On the turn for home Entirely Platinum kept the lead, while Black Heart Bart peeled out wide on the course.
With 300m left to travel Black Heart Bart took control to lead from Mick Price’s dual Group 1 winner Tarzino who was starting to finish off.
Rival local hoop Mark Zahra however quickly moved up on his mount Palentino ($9) to challenge and went past the stablemate Black Heart Bart ($2.05) to race away with the victory over the beaten favourite.
In a big run for third to finish off the Makybe Diva Stakes trifecta was the Lindsay Park-trained He Or She ($13), the genuine miler appreciating the return to Flemington for the first time since his Group 2 Blamey Stakes (1600m) victory over The United States back in March.
“I love this horse,” Zahra said of the Makybe Diva Stakes winner Palentino.
“He gave me a beautiful ride in the run today and just relaxed so good.
“I got the splits at the right time and jeez he sprinted quick.
“If you just let him be where he wants to be, his turn of foot can be really exhilarating.
“He was too good this horse.”
Weir confirmed he always had a high opinion of Palentino and would track a path towards a clash with Chris Waller’s champion mare Winx in the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 22.
“I was a little worried about him the yard but when he jumped…he was settled and going really well,” Weir said post-win.
“I knew when he got to the outside of him [Black Heart Bart], I didn’t know if he’d get past him, but knew he’d test him.
“I don’t think it’ll be the last one [Group 1] he wins either.
“This was the race he was aimed towards and I said if he measured up we’d look at the Cox Plate.
“So we’ll plan towards that now.”
Check out the updated all-in Cox Plate 2016 betting odds on Palentino now at Ladbrokes.com.au!
2016 Makybe Diva Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Flemington Race 7 – 10/09/2016
|1||10||PALENTINO||Darren Weir||Mark Zahra||–||5||58.5kg||$9|
|2||3||BLACK HEART BART||Darren Weir||Damien Oliver||1L||8||59kg||$2.05F|
|3||7||HE OR SHE||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Craig Williams||3L||6||59kg||$13|
|4||5||JACQUINOT BAY||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Nicholas Hall||4L||9||59kg||$31|
|5||4||OUR IVANHOWE (GER)||Lee & Anthony Freedman||Daniel Moor||4.1L||7||59kg||$13|
|6||1||PRINCE OF PENZANCE (NZ)||Darren Weir||John Allen||4.2L||12||59kg||$81|
|7||12||RISING ROMANCE (NZ)||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Damian Lane||4.95L||2||57kg||$9|
|8||2||HAPPY TRAILS||Paul Beshara||Ben Melham||5.05L||11||59kg||$51|
|9||13||SOFIA ROSA (NZ)||Stephen Marsh||Ms Danielle Johnson||5.8L||13||56.5kg||$41|
|10||9||TARZINO (NZ)||Mick Price||Craig Newitt||6L||4||58.5kg||$11|
|11||8||ALPINE EAGLE||Tony McEvoy||Luke Currie||6.2L||10||59kg||$21|
|12||6||ENTIRELY PLATINUM (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||8.95L||1||59kg||$19|
|13||11||AYERS ROCK||Shawn Mathrick||Luke Nolen||13.2L||3||58.5kg||$201|