First run in 1948, the race was originally known as the Craiglee Stakes. Wilfred Henry Johnston was Chairman of the VRC stewards panel from 1924 to 1945, and the race was named after his property in Sunbury: Craiglee.
Originally run over 2000 metres, or one-and-a-quarter miles, the race was shortened to the mile distance in 1965.
In 2007, the race was renamed in honour of champion mare Makybe Diva. Makybe Diva is the only horse to win Australia’s greatest race, the Melbourne Cup, on three occasions – she achieved this is 2003, 2004 and 2005. It was therefore fitting that she have a major race at Flemington named after her, though she never actually won this particular race.
The race was updated to Group 1 status in 2013. It’s a key lead-up race for Spring Carnival majors such as the Cox Plate, Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup, and therefore attracts a quality field of big names.
Makybe Diva Stakes
Flemington Racecourse, 1600m
Group 1 weight-for-age, three-year-olds and up
Makybe Diva Stakes 2020
The 2020 Makybe Diva Stakes was won by the Matthew Smith-trained Fierce Impact, which was ridden by Mark Zahra. It was Fierce Impact’s third career Group 1 win, after he claimed the Toorak Handicap and Cantala Stakes in 2019, both of which were also over the mile.
The Flemington track was rated a Good 4, and the rail was in the true position. Second place went to Russian Camelot, while the unfancied So Si Bon finished third.
|1||4. Fierce Impact||Mark Zahra||Matthew Smith||1:36.33||5||59||$4|
|2||13. Russian Camelot||Damien Oliver||Danny O’Brien||0.2||14||57.5||$4.60|
|3||8. So Si Bon||Daniel Stackhouse||Tom Dabernig & Ben Hayes||1.7||16||59||$31|
FIERCE IMPACT was fierce all the way to the line to win the G1 Makybe Dive Stakes 🐅 pic.twitter.com/IW34eB22LK
— 7HorseRacing 🐎 (@7horseracing) September 12, 2020
Makybe Diva Stakes: past winners
2020 Fierce Impact
2012 Southern Speed