Makybe Diva Thoroughbred

Makybe Diva

Makybe Diva Makes History - Wins 3 Melbourne Cups

Makybe Diva holds a distinction that was over 140 years in the making by being the first and only thoroughbred to win three Melbourne Cups when she won in 2003, 2004 and 2005.

Considering the stature and the tenure of the Race That Stops a Nation, this is even more remarkable when it is recognized that only four others can claim two wins to their credit. makybe diva

Makybe Diva Thoroughbred

Her racing record of 15 wins, four seconds and three thirds produced over $14.5 million in earnings, a record for the time being.

Makybe Diva had something of an inauspicious beginning. She was foaled in 1999 in England, sired by Desert King, a respectable racer, and dammed by a U.S. product, Tugela, that was only ever raced on two occasions.

For reasons only the buyers could try to explain, she was ignored in the 1999 Tatts Newmarket Sale. She remained in England until August of 2000, when she, along with her dam, were shipped to Australia.

Since she was born in the northern hemisphere but did all of her racing in the southern, she suffered something of a disadvantage from an age perspective compared to her competitors, but this disadvantage seems to have proved to be a benefit. It also means that she is part of the short list of only nine foreign born horses to record a win in the Melbourne Cup.

Makybe Diva First Start

Her first start came on 12 July 2002 in a 1000 m trial. That was her only attempt as a two-year-old. For officiating purposes, she observed her third birthday just two weeks later, where she could manage only a fourth place finish in a maiden held at Benalla, which is a bit to the north of Melbourne.

Precisely one month later, Makybe Diva notched her first victory, this coming in a 1600 m maiden where she negotiated a heavy track with Vincent Hall doing the steering.

He was aboard again when she once more proved proficient on a heavy track over 2000 m, demonstrating her stamina for the first time in winning a Group 3 event.

She next won or the first time at Flemington, this time with Brett Preble as her rider, taking first in the Jezabeel Handicap when trainer David Hall lodged a protest that was upheld. Her first victory as a four-year-old came in a listed race, followed by the Werribee Cup.

Lover Of Long Distant Races

Coming back less than a fortnight later, she won the Group 2 Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Flemington with Luke Currie aboard. This victory served to grant her acceptance for the following year’s Melbourne Cup. By this time, she was becoming well established at the longer distances.

Makybe Diva’s 2003-04 season opened with two disappointing fourth place finishes. At this time, Glenn Boss was selected to ride her, but two races failed to secure a placing and her connections decided to spell her for a bit. She returned to run well in the Caulfield Cup and then took a 17 day hiatus prior to returning to defeat 22 others for her first Melbourne Cup victory, beating She’s Archie by a comfortable margin.

Her connections then calculated that she deserved a proper rest and Makybe Diva did not compete for just over three months.

Her next five races produced nothing better than a third, but her dry spell ended in spectacular fashion when she won the 3200m Sydney Cup, becoming the first mare to ever produce a Melbourne Cup/Sydney Cup double.

She then spelled again and once more needed a few races to get back to form, with a second place in the Caulfield Cup coming as the result of poor strategy in the finishing stretch. That served as a prelude to her second Melbourne Cup victory, where she became only the fifth thoroughbred to ever achieve that milestone, along with being the first mare.

Lee Freedman Takes Over Training

At the conclusion of this season she switched stables to become a member of the Lee Freedman organization. She was named Australian Champion Racehorse of the Year and established a world record for 2000 m on turf.

The following season, 2005-06 had a win in the Memsie Stakes followed by a victory in the W.S. Cox Plate. Then came some controversy when her connections implied that they would hold her from that season’s Melbourne Cup due to drought conditions that had Flemington running like a car park.

Rather than lose their headliner, the VRC watered the track to accommodate her, with the result being that she took the race for the third time, again winning comfortably in the final 300 m. She was retired immediately afterward.

Accolades in the form of a second Australian Racehorse of the Year, along with the designation of Australian Champion Stayer and Australian Champion Middle Distance Racehorse followed thereafter.

Racing Hall Of Fame

Makybe Diva entered the Australian Racing Hall of Fame the following year. She has the elevated Hall status of Legend that is shred with Phar Lap, Bart Cummings and Scobie Beasley.

She did produce progeny at stud. Her overall record, while certainly better than many, was not what set her apart. Rather, it is her dominance in winning on an early Tuesday in November three years running that will be the source of most of the admiration directed in her direction.