The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Mr Brightside continued his incredible spring campaign with a bullish Group 1 win at headquarters saluting for the punters as the odds-on favourite in the 2023 Makybe Diva Stakes results.
The brilliant six-year-old son of Bullbars has gone to another level this prep and really stamped his authority with a dominant victory over a small but quality field in this year’s Group 1 $750,000 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m).
Before the break he won the All-Star Mile – Doncaster Mile double in the autumn and also went back-to-back after a spell with victories in the Group 2 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) and Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield.
The mile maestro relished a return to his pet distance third-up and rock-hard fit and was far too good for his rivals in the Makybe thanks to a lovely ride by Craig Williams.
“He was a superstar today,” co-trainer Ben Hayes told Racing.com.
“He travelled so strongly.
“He won well. So proud of him. He’s an incredible horse.
“To have a horse like this is what you work for. To get these results is just huge.
“Big thank you and 10/10 to Craig he rode that beautiful.”
Mr Brightside showed his adaptability in a race that was slowly run early with Alligator Blood crossing to take up the lead while the eventual winner settled back in third.
Around the turn the Gator was held together well, but Williams was quick on the scene with Mr Brightside picking up with 300m to go.
Looking to go all-the-way Alligator Blood let down a furlong out but was joined by Mr Brightside who let rip a the 150m and flew past the front-runner.
In the end it was all the $1.85 favourite who produced a marvellous finish to put 1.5 lengths on the Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained Alligator Blood ($3.60) who was typically tough finishing runner-up in the event for the second time in as many years.
Making up ground to flash home into third just a quarter-length further back was the Chris Waller-trained Osipenko ($15) while her stablemates Princess Grace (4th) and Francesco Guardi (5th) followed her in.
Dissident back in 2014 was the last horse to complete the Memsie Stakes – Makybe Diva Stakes double in the same season before Mr Brightside’s superior effort to repeat the feat this season.
With more than $9 million in stakes now in the bank it is onwards and upwards to more spring majors with the stable leaning towards a next-up Sydney run in the Group 1 $5 million King Charles III Stakes (1600m) on The Everest Day (October 14).
“He really stamped his authority today and he’s definitely the horse to catch now,” Hayes said.
Following that a step-up in distance for a shot at the Group 1 $5 million Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) on October 28 is likely and Mr Brightside is at $6 in futures markets for the Australasian weight-for-age championship at The Valley.
“We’ll see how he pulls up first. At this stage we are leaning towards Sydney for the King Charles,” Hayes confirmed.
“He’s undefeated at weight-for-age over a mike and that’s two weeks into Cox Plate and I think that’s pretty good for him.”
2023 Makybe Diva Stakes Results & Finishing Order
|1||1||MR BRIGHTSIDE (NZ)||Ben, Will & JD Hayes||Craig Williams||2||59kg||$1.85F|
|2||2||ALLIGATOR BLOOD||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Damien Oliver||1.5L||4||59kg||$3.60|
|3||6||OSIPENKO (NZ)||Chris Waller||Mark Zahra||1.9L||1||58.5kg||$15|
|4||7||PRINCESS GRACE (USA)||Chris Waller||Blake Shinn||2.65L||7||57kg||$5.50|
|5||5||FRANCESCO GUARDI (IRE)||Chris Waller||Damian Lane||3.4L||3||59kg||$31|
|6||4||AEGON (NZ)||Andrew Forsman||Michael Dee||5.4L||5||59kg||$31|
|7||3||SPANISH MISSION (USA)||Peter G Moody & Katherine Coleman||Luke Nolen||9.4L||6||59kg||$81|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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