The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Mr Brightside is hot favourite to continue his winning streak with a fifth win on the trot this weekend in the 2023 Makybe Diva Stakes at headquarters.
The form horse of the season so far, Mr Brightside dominates betting on this year’s Group 1 $1 million Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) which headlines the Melbourne racing action at Flemington on Saturday.
The gun galloper took out the All-Star Mile – Doncaster Mile double in the autumn over the 1600m that he returns to third-up and fit in the Makybe Diva Stakes field having come back this prep to win back-to-back races either side of a spell.
Fresh he defeated subsequent Feehan Stakes winner Pinstriped in the Group 2 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) before a Group 1 Caulfield win last start in the Memsie Stakes over the same distance.
Improving with each performance the Cox Plate-bound galloper is sure to appreciate the 1600m now and is at understandably short Makybe Diva Stakes odds of $2 to get the job done again.
It is a diminutive but class field gathered for this year’s race with just seven final acceptors.
A further two of those are also at single-figures in Makybe Diva Stakes betting at Ladbrokes.com.au with Alligator Blood ($4) and Princess Grace ($4.40) considered the dangers.
The Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained multiple Group 1 star Alligator Blood ran second behind I’m Thunderstruck in last year’s race with the now seven-year-old looking to go one better this campaign.
He was good rounding out the spring with a Group 1 win over the mile at Flemington on Stakes Day before a win fresh in the autumn’s Futurity Stakes.
After an All-Star Mile fourth and then 15th when unsuited to the wet track in the Doncaster, Alligator Blood looked back to his best first-up when fourth in the Memsie under a length beaten with natural improvement to come.
He is a genuine Flemington star with a lovely record here (4:3-1-0) and will relish a return to the track as he looks to finally get the better of Mr Brightside.
Princess Grace meanwhile is also a Memsie Stakes graduate looking to turn the tables on her last start conqueror.
The now Chris Waller-trained American-bred mare sees Flemington for the first time in her firth run down under.
The import has an Australian win behind her already after success in the Group 3 Hawkesbury Crown last time in, and she has caught the eye with dual Group 1 seconds this campaign.
As for the double-figure fancies chasing an upset the best-backed for value is another runner from the Waller stable with Osipenko the rails-drawn market mover into $11.
2023 Makybe Diva Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Probable Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||73x5211x11||MR BRIGHTSIDE (NZ)||Ben, Will & JD Hayes||Craig Williams||2||59kg||117|
|2||1551x140x4||ALLIGATOR BLOOD||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Damien Oliver||4||59kg||116|
|3||x34x339x3x||SPANISH MISSION (USA)||Peter G Moody & Katherine Coleman||Luke Nolen||6||59kg||113|
|4||42x6495x39||AEGON (NZ)||Andrew Forsman||Michael Dee||5||59kg||105|
|5||11232821×0||FRANCESCO GUARDI (IRE)||Chris Waller||Damian Lane||3||59kg||106|
|6||3x51761x57||OSIPENKO (NZ)||Chris Waller||Mark Zahra||1||58.5kg||105|
|7||1223x31x22||PRINCESS GRACE (USA)||Chris Waller||Blake Shinn||7||57kg||112|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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