With Winx taking her place in Sydney, the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes has drawn an outstanding and open field of milers to Flemington on Saturday and we are potentially set for one of the best contests of the 2018 Spring Carnival.
Godolphin colt Kementari has looked terrific without finding his way back into the winner’s stall this time and has opened the $3.80 favourite in 2018 Makybe Dive Stakes betting.
Kementari has been a strong and consistent performer throughout his entire racing career so far, but returned to the track an even more furnished prospect in autumn and won each of his first three starts, including the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m).
Having flown home to finish second in the Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) first-up this time, the Lonhro entire turned in a fair performance to finish fourth in the Group 1 Winx Stakes (1400m) before just missing in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) a fortnight ago.
He is rock-hard fit, will enjoy a return to what is arguably his pet trip and has the advantage of leading hoop Craig Williams in the saddle for the first time.
Humidor stormed home at huge odds to win the Memsie Stakes last start and has so-far received the greatest support in Makybe Diva Stakes betting; firming $4.40 into $4 at the time of publish.
A three-time Group 1 champion, Humidor is also a proven performer on the Flemington mile and has won two from three starts at the course and distance, including this race in 2017 and the Group 2 Blamey Stakes earlier this year.
Regular hoop Damian Lane will have plenty of options from the rails draw and with appropriate luck in running, he can finish over the top of his rivals again.
Caulfield Cup favourite Kings Will Dream has been outstanding yet again during the early stages of his Spring Carnival campaign and will relish getting out to a mile in the Makybe Diva Stakes.
The Casamento gelding immediately stamped himself as a horse to follow upon arriving in Australia and debuting for Darren Weir in January; winning each of his five starts with complete ease including the Listed Mornington Cup (2400m).
Little was expected of the horse when he stepped out in the Group 2 PB Lawrence Stakes (1400m) first-up this time, but he produced arguably the run of the race to flash home for a close-up fourth and was similarly impressive when third in the Memsie Stakes last time out.
The wide draw isn’t an issue as he’ll go back in running regardless and he should relish the big and wide Flemington track on Saturday.
Only one other horse is currently available at 2018 Makybe Diva Stakes odds of less-than $10 and cult hero Happy Clapper could prove to be the value in the field at $7.
The Teofilo gelding finally broke through for a maiden win at the highest level in last year’s Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) and resumed this year for an impressive triumph in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m).
Having continue to impress on his way towards an outstanding and career-best win in the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) during The Championships, Happy Clapper did not enjoy the conditions at Caulfield first-up, but was still strong through the line and will take plenty of benefit into his second-up task.