Image by dreamtemp from Pixabay.

The Spring Carnival is fast approaching, with major Group 1 races with prize purses of more than $1 million about to start coming thick and fast.

While the Winx Stakes and Memsie Stakes round out the month of August, it's the Makybe Diva Stakes over 1600 metres at Flemington which will draw plenty of attention.

Named after one of Australia's all-time great horses who won the Melbourne Cup three years in a row between 2003 and 2005, but also took out the Queen Elizabeth Stakes and Sydney Cup, before winning all of the Australian Cup, BMW Stakes, Memsi Stakes, Turnbull Stakes and Cox Plate in 2005 during one of the greatest runs of success in the sport's history, the race will see some big names hit Flemington for the right to lift the trophy.

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Here are the early favourites.


The English horse will go into the Makybe Diva Stakes as one of the favourites. While it hasn't won this race before, plenty of Group 1 races litter the record, including the Doomben Stakes, Underwood Stakes and Mackinnon Stakes last year.

Victory was also recorded in the All Star Mile earlier this year, being I'm Thunderstruck - one of the other early favourites for the Makybe Diva Stakes.

I'm Thunderstruck

A New Zealand-born horse, I'm Thunderstruck will come into the Sprint Carnival off a long spell dating back to April, where the Gelding whas a handful of strong performances.

She may not have been able to take out the All Star Mile, but was competitive and has a previous Group 1 victory under the belt.

An almost certainty to nominate, I'm Thunderstruck might need to find a way past Zaaki, but is otherwise a strong chance of a good performance.


A four-year-old Gelding, Anamoe had an impressive run through the 2021 calendar, taking out the Caulfield Guineas having only just been pipped at the post in the Golden Rose a fortnight earlier.

A second-placed effort in the Cox Plate saw Anamoe continue to make a name for himself, before a couple of early-season wins, including taking out the Rosehill Guineas over 2,000 metres earlier this year by six and a half lengths has him primed to be one of the favourites for the Stakes.

Bankers Choice

A five-year-old Gelding, Bankers choice has had some impressive form of late, taking out four of her last ten races.

Based in Flemington, the home track race will have added benefits for Bankers Choice, who is also nominated later this year for the Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate.


Mo'unga was the second-placed horse in last year's Makybe Diva Stakes, being pipped by less than half a length on the line by Incentivise.

In strong form through the early part of this year, the five-year-old has two Group 1 wins under its career belt and will look to add more during the Spring Carnival.