A Group 1 weight-for-age event that is held over the mile at Flemington, stayers contest the Makybe Diva Stakes first up or second up into a preparation as they head towards races such as the Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup.
The Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) held at Caulfield two weeks earlier is the key lead-up race as a high-number of Makybe Diva Stakes runners enter the event on the back of the Memsie Stakes.
Some runners will bypass the Memsie and begin their campaign in the Makybe Diva Stakes, just as the most recent winner did; Fawkner resumed from a spell to claim the event in 2015 for trainer Robert Hickmott and jockey Damien Oliver.
Worth $400,000 in prizemoney, the Makybe Diva Stakes attracts some of the country’s best stayers who are either racing first or second up along with a number of milers who will head towards a race like the Emirates Stakes.
The Makybe Diva Stakes was known as the Craiglee Stakes between 1948 and 2006 before being named after three-time Melbourne Cup winner Makybe Diva from 2007 onwards.
It was first won by Lungi during its inaugural running and was a Principal Race from 1948 to 1978.
The race then received Group 2 status when claimed by Dulcify in 1979 and was eventually upgraded to Group 1 status in 2013 when taken out by Foreteller.
A number of outstanding types have claimed the Makybe Diva Stakes and notable winners include Comic Court (1949), Sailor’s Guide (1956-57), Lord (1961), Light Fingers (1965), Tobin Bronze (1966), Rain Lover (1969), Ming Dynasty (1977), Dulcify (1979), Rose Of Kingston (1982), Zabeel (1990), Mannerism (1993), Mahogany (1994), Jeune (1995), Sky Heights (1999), Northerly (2002), Weekend Hussler (2008), Shocking (2010), Southern Speed (2012) and Dissident (2014).
Following the Makybe Diva Stakes many of the runners will press on to tackle the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield two weeks later or the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington three weeks later.
Those runners then battle it out in either the Caulfield Cup (2400m) or Cox Plate (2040m).