Mr Brightside opens short in small Makybe Diva Stakes field

Mr Brightside
Mr Brightside will face just six rivals in the 2023 Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes. (Picture: Pat Scala/Racing Photos)

It may be small in numbers, but the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) is stacked with talent for the $750,000 feature at Flemington on Saturday.

Heading the acceptances is last-start Memsie Stakes (1400m) winner Mr Brightside, who will be chasing his maiden Flemington Group 1 triumph this weekend.

Despite winning just one race from six goes at Flemington, online bookmakers did not hesitate in installing Mr Brightside as a -117.65 favourite.

A winner of nine races at 1600m, Mr Brightside is arguably one of the best milers in the country, and a win in Saturday’s Group 1 would further emphasise that.

Having finished second in this race last year, the Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained Alligator Blood (+260) will be looking to go one better this weekend and build on a near-bombproof record at Flemington.

The seven-year-old has won three of his four starts at Flemington, including two at Group 1 level, with his sole defeat coming when losing by the barest of margins to I’m Thunderstruck in the 2022 Makybe Diva Stakes.

Following a runner-up effort in the Memsie Stakes, Princess Grace (+360) is one of three Chris Waller runners and will be looking to turn the tables on Mr Brightside as she steps up to the mile third-up from a spell.

The effort in the Memsie Stakes came after finishing second in the Group 1 Winx Stakes (1400m) upon resumption.

Osipenko (+1300) and Francesco Guardi (+3300) are the two other runners from the Waller yard.

Kiwi galloper Aegon (+1700) and 2021 Melbourne Cup placegetter Spanish Mission (+4500) round out a small but star-studded lineup.

The 2023 Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes is race seven on Saturday’s stacked 10-race card at Flemington.

Makybe Diva Stakes 2023 field

No. Silks Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight
1 Silks
Mr Brightside
Ben, Will & JD Hayes
Craig Williams
2 Silks
Alligator Blood
Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott
Damien Oliver
3 Silks
Spanish Mission
Peter Moody & Katherine Coleman
Luke Nole
4 Silks
Andrew Forsman
Michael Dee
5 Silks
Francesco Guardi
Chris Waller
Damian Lane
6 Silks
Chris Waller
Mark Zahra
7 Silks
Princess Grace
Chris Waller
Blake Shinn

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