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Punters are treated to a bumper day’s racing with two Group 1 meetings across two states on Saturday including the latest run by Hartnell in Melbourne who nears a Winx-like odds in Makybe Diva Stakes 2017 betting.
Sydney is host to the third-up run of superstar mare Winx at Royal Randwick, the reigning Australian Horse of the Year chasing her 20th consecutive victory as the $1.09 favourite in the Group 1 $500,000 George Main Stakes (1600m).
Further south, the elite level action of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival continues with the Group 1 $750,000 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington Racecourse where punters are flooding the markets with money on Hartnell.
The Godolphin-raced stayer has been backed like there is nothing else in the race and is at $1.75 in the latest Makybe Diva Stakes odds through Ladbrokes.com.au.
A key lead-up to upcoming features including the Group 1 $3 million Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 21, for which Hartnell is the 58kg top weight and early favourite, the Makybe Diva Stakes field features a dozen runners.
Looking at the price on Hartnell for the win, it would appear a race lacking depth.
It is the exact opposite however with a stellar line-up of big name gallopers including the Darren Weir-trained Black Heart Bart, the Kris Lees-trained Le Romain and last season’s ATC Derby winner Jon Snow.
Hartnell was last seen putting an impressive first-up effort at Caulfield to win the Group 2 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m).
The Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup placegetter from last spring will relish the extra metres of the Makybe Diva Stakes and is the obvious horse to beat, especially if he can get up front in a race looking to lack genuine speed.
Trainer James Cummings is also confident Hartnell has plenty of improvement in him and that the team were excited about the weekend.
“He looked like he absorbed that first-up run even better than his preliminary training. It’s a really good sign,” Cummings told the Herald Sun.
“Not only were we very impressed by his return in the PB Lawrence, where he was able to win very comfortably over 1400m, but we’ve been very pleased with him in between runs.
“We’re very excited about his prospects on the weekend.”
The aforementioned duo of Black Heart Bart ($6) and Le Romain ($9), drawn in barriers seven and five respectively, are the only other single-figure hopes in current Makybe Diva Stakes markets.
Brad Rawiller rode Weekend Hussler to victory in the race back in 2008 and chases a second aboard Weir’s multiple Group 1 winning seven-year-old Black Heart Bart.
The son of Blackfriars was last seen running second to The Everest prospect Vega Magic in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m), which followed his third when resuming in the P.B. Lawrence Stakes.
Black Heart Bart faces a distance test in the Makybe Diva Stakes, his first run over further than 1400m since his ninth to Winx in last year’s Cox Plate (2040m).
He has winning form up to 1800m however having saluted in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes over that distance last September, which followed his second behind stablemate Palentino in the Makybe Diva Stakes quinella in 2016.
Hard Spun five-year-old Le Romain is also third-up in the weight-for-age feature, the triple Group 1 winner having crossed three lengths back fifth in the Memsie Stakes last time out.
Check out the latest Makybe Diva Stakes 2017 betting odds and options online now at Ladbrokes.com.au and back your Flemington race selections at the best price.
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