MAKYBE DIVA STAKES - 1600m, Flemington R7
We’re starting to get into the thick of spring racing now, and from this Saturday until the end of November there is at least one Group 1 race every weekend, not to mention other spectacular races like the Everest and Golden Eagle.
Mr Brightside has emerged as potentially the best horse in Australia. Others vying for that title, like I Wish I Win and Giga Kick, have been beaten this spring, while Mr Brightside has won four in a row either side of a spell, including the All Star Mile, his second Doncaster, and the Lawrence Stakes and Memsie Stakes this campaign.
Not only did he win the Memsie, beating I Wish I Win and others, he did it sitting three wide on the speed without cover. He’s an incredibly versatile horse, handling all circuits, track conditions, fast races, slow races, racing forward, midfield or back, and there’s simply no doubt he has improved again this preparation.
Mr Brightside will start even money or a touch under, will park in second or third behind Alligator Blood, and should be even better at a mile than he has been over 1400m. He must be the one to beat.
Alligator Blood tackles Mr Brightside for the ninth time, with their record split 4-4 against each other. Alligator Blood couldn’t go with him in the Memsie, but was only first-up there and can be expected to take improvement. If Damien Oliver rates him to perfection in front, he can perhaps get the better of his old rival again.
Princess Grace has put in two excellent performances so far this campaign, twice finishing second at Group 1 WFA when not in the best part of the track, including to Mr Brightside in the Memsie. She’ll be camped right outside Mr Brightside, behind Alligator Blood, and these three are all good enough to win with the right run. She might just be the one that can keep the favourite in a pocket long enough to make things interesting.
Osipenko comes through the same races as Princess Grace, beaten by her stablemate both times. Staying at 1400m last time wasn’t in his best interests, and he’ll enjoy the step up to 1600m. He’ll have to give three top class horses a start though, and it’s hard to see things panning out to get past all of them.
Aegon has proven this level is a bit beyond him, and probably needs to find slightly lesser grade in order to win. Francesco Guardi and Spanish Mission are on staying paths, and will be running on.
Selections: 1.Mr Brightside 2.Princess Grace 3.Alligator Blood 4.Osipenko
* Odds Correct At Time Of Posting. Check Playup Website For Latest Odds