Tue, Sep 5, 6:34pm by Head Editor
Hartnell has firmed into $2 to win next Saturday’s Group One Makybe Diva Stakes after he won the Group Two P.B. Lawrence Stakes at Caulfield on August 19.
The Godolphin owned Gelding charged away in the straight with Craig Williams in the saddle to record a two and a quarter lengths win over the front running Charmed Harmony and Black Heart Bart, who ran second in Saturday’s Memsie Stakes.
Melbourne Cup winning jockey Kerrin McEvoy has landed the ride this time around on the six-year-old, who ran second to Winx in last year’s Cox Plate.
Black Heart Bart is backing up for this race, and the five-time Group One winner is expected to challenge, he’s currently at $8.50, just ahead of another Group One winner, Hey Doc, who’s just behind him, at $9.
Humidor ran eight in the Memsie, and is at $11 for the next Group One on the calendar, while Yankee Rose, who finished one place back in the Memsie, has also been backed well, and is currently at the same quote.
Tosen Stardom, who ran third in that same Group One at Caulfield on Saturday, and has also nominated for the Cox Plate, is the sixth pick, at $13.
The Darren Weir trained Palentino won the race at the odds of $9 last year, but the four-year-old, who finished with five wins from 18 starts, including two Group One’s, won’t be there to back it up as he was retired to stud earlier this year.
The $750,000 race for three year olds or older will be held at Flemington over 1600 metres on September 16.
The race was originally named the Craiglee Stakes after the home of Wilfred Henry Johnson, who was the VRC stipendiary stewards between 1924 and 1945, but is now named after champion Aussie Thoroughbred, Makybe Diva, who won the Melbourne Cup in each year between 2003 and 2005.
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