Makybe Diva

Makybe Diva is an Australian racehorse, and the first thoroughbred to win the prestigious Melbourne Cup three times: in 2003 and 2004, and again in 2005 when she also won the Cox Plate. Sired by Desert King to dam Tugela, Makybe Diva is the highest stakes-earner in Australasian horse-racing history, with winnings of AU$14,526,685 when she retired on 1 November 2005.

"The Diva" is one of only five horses to have won the Cup more than once in the 145 year history of the event. The others are Archer in 1861 and 1862, Peter Pan in 1932 and 1934, Rain Lover in 1968 and 1969 and Think Big in 1974 and 1975.

Makybe Diva is owned by South Australian tuna fisherman Tony Santic, who named her after the first two letters in five of his employees' names (Maureen, Kylie, Belinda, Diane and Vanessa). The nature of her performances is emphasised by the fact that she is the only mare among the list of multiple winners, and is among only 11 mares, and three fillies to have won the cup in its history.

Prior to racing

The Makybe Diva story began in 1998 in England. Tony Santic's bloodstock agent John Foote purchased Tugela in foal to Desert King for 60,000 guineas at the December 1998 Tattersall's Sale. As normally happens with Santic's British-purchased horses, she was taken to Dick Fowlston's Britton House Stud in Somerset to board before being sent on to Australia. Tugela gave birth to a bay filly weighing at five minutes past midnight on 21 March 1999. The filly was offered for sale at the December 2000 Tattersall's sales but did not make the reserve. Called Makybe Diva, the filly remained at Britton House Stud until August of 2000, when she and Tugela were shipped to Australia.

Season 2002-2003

Originally trained by David Hall, Makybe Diva made her racetrack debut in July 2002 as a three-year-old in a maiden race at Benalla in Victoria, and finished fourth. At her next start in August, as a four-year-old, Makybe Diva won her maiden race before moving through the classes, winning two events in a row. She had her first metropolitan start when winning a fillies and mares handicap over at Flemington. She followed with wins over the fields in the Listed Werribee Cup and Group 2 VRC Queen Elizabeth Stakes. Makybe Diva returned briefly in the autumn for two showings over short distance races. But owner Tony Santic and trainer David Hall had other plans in mind for the spring.

Season 2003-2004 (Melbourne Cup 1)

Makybe Diva resumed racing in the spring over , but while being reasonably competitive, she did not win any major races. Second up at her next start in the Group 3 Stock Stakes she came from behind to finish fourth, beaten by just over two lengths. She then started 5-1 equal favourite in the Group 2 Turnbull Stakes, where she again began in the back of the field, before finishing fourth, beaten by only one length.

After finishing as a 14-1 outsider in the Caulfield Cup, she began her partnership with Sydney jockey Glen Boss. Coming from near last with to go in the race, she finished fourth behind the Lee Freedman trained Mummify. The first Tuesday in November 2003 was her first Melbourne Cup victory. Starting as an $8 second favourite, Makybe Diva raced at the back of the field until the finishing straight, where jockey Boss picked his way through the field to win by one and a half lengths.

In the autumn of 2004, she resumed over with , followed by a third place finish in the Group 3 Carlyon Cup. Following this, she was blocked when making a winning run in the Australian Cup before being taken to Sydney, where she placed third in the Ranvet Stakes and The BMW Stakes, both Group 1 races. The Group 1 Sydney Cup over was to be her final run for the campaign. Sent out as a $3.50 second favourite, she began off the pace, but charged home to record a win by half a length, becoming the first mare to ever win the Sydney Cup / Melbourne Cup double in the same season, and only the fourth horse to have accomplished the double win.

After the 2003-2004 season, trainer David Hall left to train in Hong Kong, and Makybe Diva was transferred to trainer Lee Freedman, generally regarded as one of Australia's top trainers.

Season 2004-2005 (Melbourne Cup 2)

Her campaign in the spring of 2004, was aimed at winning the Melbourne Cup for a second time. It followed the pattern of her previous cup winning campaign, even though she appeared to be racing better than before. A close second in the Group 2 John F Feehan Stakes over at Moonee Valley, showed her competitiveness in shorter races. In the 2004 Caulfield Cup Maybe Diva drew barrier 18 and settled at the back of the field. She charged home late to be narrowly defeated by arch rival Elvstroem who controlled the race from the outset leading all the way.

Makybe Diva was sent out a $3.60 favourite, and won the 2004 Melbourne Cup. In driving rain, the mare defeated a field featuring multiple Irish St. Leger winner Vinnie Roe, Caulfield Cup winners Mummify and Elvstroem, Mamool from the Godolphin stable, as well as the 2002 Melbourne Cup winner Media Puzzle.

Resuming racing in February, Makybe Diva put in close finishes behind Elvstroem in both the C F Orr Stakes and St George Stakes, at Caulfield. On March 12, she won the Australian Cup, a weight for age event over , and in the process broke the Australian record and setting an unofficial world record for on turf. She proceeded to win Sydney's most important WFA race, The BMW Stakes, with a last-to-first burst. In April and May, she raced in Japan, where she failed in two starts, the latter of which was over in the Group One Tenno Sho (Emperor's Cup).

Makybe Diva was named Australian Champion Racehorse of the Year for the 2004/05 season. Along with this she was also named Australian Champion Stayer and Australian Champion Filly and Mare.

A three quarter brother to Makybe Diva, by Redoute's Choice, was sold in April 2005 for an Australian record price of $2.5 million. Subsequently named Musket, the colt won his debut at Canterbury in August 2006.

Season 2005-2006 (Melbourne Cup 3)

Resuming racing in August 2005, Makybe Diva won the Group 2 Memsie Stakes first up, before being beaten by a nose in the Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes at Moonee Valley. Two weeks later, with a run down the outside of the field Makybe Diva scored a good win in the Turnbull Stakes over 2000 m at Flemington. The mare further enhanced her reputation despite being eight horses wide on the home turn, with a comfortable victory in the 2005 Cox Plate subsequently beating 2006 winner Fields Of Omagh.

On 1 November 2005, Makybe Diva defied the odds by creating history in winning a record third Melbourne Cup. Immediately after the race, trainer Lee Freedman said of the achievement: "Go find the smallest child on this course, and there will be the only example of a person who will live long enough to see that again." During the presentation of the Melbourne Cup, owner Tony Santic announced that Makybe Diva would "retire from racing as of today".

Makybe Diva carried 58 kg during the record third Melbourne Cup, 2.5 kg above the standard weight-for-age scale. The last horse to carry more than weight-for-age and win was Rain Lover, who was 2 kg over when he won his second cup in 1969, with 60.5 kg. Makybe Diva, who broke her own weight-carrying record for a mare of 55.5 kg, which she set in 2004, was the highest-weighted winner of the cup since Think Big won his second Melbourne Cup with 58.5 kg in 1975.

At the end of the 2005 - 2006 season Makybe Diva was named Australian Champion Racehorse of the Year for the second time, becoming just the third horse to win that accolade more than once. She was also named Australian Champion Stayer, winning this award for the third consecutive year as well as Australian Champion Middle Distance Racehorse.

After Racing

In 2006 the inaugural Sprit of Sport Award (for 2005) was given to Makybe Diva and her connections (Lee Freedman, Tony Santic, and Glen Boss) by the Sport Australia Hall of Fame for her three successive Melbourne Cups.

On 4 July 2006, Makybe Diva was inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame.

It was announced on 5th August 2006, that Makybe Diva would be honoured at Flemington Racecourse with a bronze statue, in recognition of her historic 3 Melbourne Cup wins. A life-sized bronze statue was also erected on the foreshore in Santic's home town of Port Lincoln, South Australia.

Makybe Diva headed the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities ratings for the 2005 - 2006 official end of season assessment. She was given a rating of 124, ahead of Electrocutionist, David Junior and Heart's Cry on 123.

On 10th of August 2006, it was announced that Makybe Diva would be served by Epsom Derby winner Galileo at Coolmore Stud.

At 3.16am on the morning of the 17th of August 2007, AEST time, Makybe Diva gave birth to her first foal, at Coolmore Stud in the Hunter Valley of NSW. Coolmore's Peter O'Brien, said the bay colt " a lovely colt with a white face and two white feet," and that "both mother and son were doing very well.

Makybe Diva was due to be served by Encosta De Lago in the spring of 2007 until the outbreak of equine influenza forced the stud to be quarantined. Owner Tony Santic sent the Diva to American champion Fusaichi Pegasus instead.

On the 20th August, 2008, Makybe gave birth to her second foal, a filly by the aforementioned Fusaichi Pegasus.

Race Record

2001-02 Season as a Three Year Old
Result Date Race Venue Distance Weight (kg) Time Jockey Winner/2nd
4th 29/7/2002 3yo Maiden Benalla 1200m 54.5 1:13.15 F. Alesci Blues Explosion 1st

2002-03 Season as a Four Year Old
Result Date Race Venue Distance Weight (kg) Time Jockey Winner/2nd
Won 13/08/2002 Maiden Wangaratta 1600m 55 1:41.70 V. Hall Sing Us a Tune 2nd
Won 3/9/2002 Class 1 Sale 1700m 55 1:43.97 V. Hall Zanisa 2nd
Won 17/9/2002 Class 3 Ballarat 2000m 54.5 2:07.15 V. Hall Our Fireman Sam 2nd
Won 3/10/2002 F & M Handicap Flemington 2000m 52 2:02.31 B.Prebble Little Miss Quick 2nd
Won 30/10/2002 Werribee Cup Werribee 2000m 51.5 2:03.24 L. Currie Aquiver 2nd
Won 9/11/2002 Queen Elizabeth Stakes Flemington 2500m 52 2:35.78 L. Currie Spirit of Westbury 2nd
8th 5/4/2003 Open Handicap Caulfield 1400m 55.5 1:22.52 V. Hall Karamazou 1st
6th 25/4/2003 Auckland RC Hcp. Flemington 1600m 56.5 1:37.10 V. Hall Old Man 1st

2003-04 Season as a Five Year Old
Result Date Race Venue Distance Weight (kg) Time Jockey Winner/2nd
4th 30/08/2003 Noel Rundle Welter Caulfield 1400m 58.5 1:25.32 L. Currie C'Est Le Reve 1st
4th 13/09/2003 W H Stock Stakes Moonee Valley 1600m 55.5 1:36.81 S. Arnold Sunday Joy 1st
4th 4/10/2003 Turnbull Stakes Flemington 2000m 56.5 2:04.06 L. Currie Studebaker 1st
4th 18/10/2003 Caulfield Cup Caulfield 2400m 51.5 2:25.98 G. Boss Mummify 1st
Won 4/11/2003 Melbourne Cup Flemington 3200m 51 3:19.90 G. Boss She's Archie 2nd
7th 14/2/2004 Chester Manifold Stakes Flemington 1400m 59.5 1:21.12 V. Hall Mr Murphy 1st
3rd 28/2/2004 Carlyon cup Caulfield 1600m 56.5 1:36.24 G. Boss La Sirenuse 1st
6th 8/3/2004 Australian Cup Flemington 2000m 55.5 2:01.67 G. Boss Lonhro 1st
3rd 20/3/2004 Ranvet Stakes Rosehill 2000m 55.5 2:03.22 G. Boss Sound Action 1st
3rd 3/4/2004 The BMW Stakes Rosehill 2400m 55.5 2:25.78 G. Boss Grand Zulu 1st
Won 17/4/2004 Sydney Cup Randwick 3200m 55.5 3:21.21 G. Boss Manawa King 2nd

2004-05 Season as a Six Year Old
Result Date Race Venue Distance Weight (kg) Time Jockey Winner/2nd
4th 28/08/2004 Memsie Stakes Caulfield 1400m 55.5 1:23.02 L. CurrieS Regal Roller 1st
2nd 11/09/2004 J F Feehan Stakes Moonee Valley 1600m 55.5 1:42.50 L. Currie Delzao 1st
7th 2/10/2004 Turnbull Stakes Flemington 2000m 56.5 2:00.46 D. Oliver Elvstroem 1st
2nd 16/10/2004 Caulfield Cup Caulfield 2400m 55.5 2:31.37 G. Boss Elvstroem 1st
Won 2/11/2004 Melbourne Cup Flemington 3200m 55.5 3:28.55 G. Boss Vinnie Roe 2nd
7th 12/2/2005 C F Orr Stakes Caulfield 1400m 55.5 1:22.85 S. King Elvstroem 1st
2nd 26/2/2005 St George Stakes Caulfield 1800m 56.5 1:49.56 G. Boss Elvstroem 1st
Won 12/3/2005 Australian Cup Flemington 2000m 55.5 1:58.73 G. Boss Winning Belle 2nd
Won 19/3/2005 The BMW Stakes Rosehill 2400m 55.5 2:26.99 G. Boss Grand Armee 2nd
7th 10/4/2005 April Stakes Nakayama 2000m 59 2:00.1 G. Boss Suzuno March 1st
7th 1/5/2005 Tenno Sho Kyoto 3200m 56 3:16.5 G. Boss Suzuka Mambo 1st

2005-06 Season as a Seven Year Old.
Result Date Race Venue Distance Weight (kg) Time Jockey Winner/2nd
Won 27/08/2005 Memsie Stakes Caulfield 1400m 55.5 1:26.75 S. King Barely a Moment 2nd
2nd 10/09/2005 J F Feehan Stakes Moonee Valley 1600m 55.5 1:37.64 G. Boss Lad of the Manor 1st
Won 1/10/2005 Turnbull Stakes Flemington 2000m 56.5 2:01.57 G. Boss Lad of the Manor 2nd
Won 22/10/2005 Cox Plate Moonee Valley 2040m 55.5 2:09.27 G. Boss Lotteria 2nd
Won 1/11/2005 Melbourne Cup Flemington 3200m 58 3:19.79 G. Boss On a Jeune 2nd


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