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Once - Twice - Three Times a Diva
 By Valkyrie   •   1st Feb 2010   •   5,925 views   •   5 comments
Makybe DivaSecretariat, Seattle Slew, Man'O'War and Seabisuit may be household names in America. But Down Under we have a different definition of "champion". Legends like Phar Lap and Sunline may have passed over, but the phenomenal English-bred mare Makybe Diva still reigns supreme.

Makybe Diva was born in 1999 in England, by Desert King (son of the mighty Danehill) and out of Tugela. She and her dam were shipped to Australia in August of 2000. Diva's name came from combining the first two letters of five of her owner's employees: Maureen, Kylie, Belinda, Diane and Vanessa.

Diva's first race was a maiden at Benalla, Victoria, as a three-year-old in 2002 where she finished fourth. At her second start, two weeks later and newly classed as a four-year-old, she began a six-race winning streak and qualified for the following year's Melbourne Cup.

Little did her owner and trainer know, that in a few short years time, the name of Makyba Diva would be wrought into the history books.

Diva's 2003 season was nothing flashy, with a lot of close finishes but no big wins to her credit. She raced in the 2003 Melbourne Cup paying $8 for the win, generous considering her paltry form in the lead-up to the big race.

Ridden by Glen Boss, she picked her way through the large field and managed to win by one and a half lengths over She's Archie and Jardine's Lookout. This was her first victory in the Cup (which is the biggest race in the Southern Hemipshere and often consists of a field of horses from all over the world), and it was by no means her last.

In this video of the dying moments of the great race, you can clearly see her trapped in the middle of a pack of stampeding horses. Watch the way Boss picks his chance, and she just walks away from them.



In 2004 Diva went on to win the Sydney Cup before she once again was sent to contest the Melbourne Cup. Starting as a $3.60 favourite, everyone was keen to watch her defend her title. In pouring rain and appalling track conditions (unusual for summer in Australia) she powered away, trouncing Northern Hemisphere champions like the multiple St. Leger winner Vinnie Roe and the 2002 Melbourne Cup winner, an Irish horse named Media Puzzle.

Again, watch the way she seems to be trapped. Then Boss finds his gap and Diva hit a dry line, surging away to beat Vinne Roe.



Makybe Diva was named Australian Champion Racehorse of the Year for the 2004/2005 season. She was also Australian Champion Stayer and Australian Champion Filly or Mare. Her three-quarter brother by Redoute's Choice sold for a record $2.5 million dollars that year.

In 2005 Diva won the inaugural Cox Plate and the Group II Memsie Stakes. She was again entered for the Melbourne Cup. Everyone wanted to see her win it and "the race that stops a nation" stopped the world as people all over the globe paused in what they were doing and watched. I was at a cricket match that day and I made my nana tape the race so I could watch it. I didn't want to miss a minute, I wouldn't even let her tell me if Diva had won.

On November the 1st, 2005, I saw history made. As Diva's trainer Lee Freedman stated after the race: "Go find the smallest child on this course, and there will be the only example of a person who will live long enough to see that again". Makybe Diva did what no other horse before her had done, she won the hat-trick of Melbourne Cups, a feat unrivalled by any racehorse before her. Not even the great Phar Lap could accomplish it.



Diva was retired as of that day. At the end of the 2005/2006 season she was once again named Australian Champion Racehorse of the Year. She also became Australian Champion Stayer and Australian Champion Middle Distance Racehorse. In 2006 she was also inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame, joining champions such as the legendary New Zealand mare Sunline, the New Zealand bred gelding Phar Lap, the super racer Gloaming, and the mighty Might and Power.

In August of 2007 at Coolmore Stud in New South Wales, Australia, Makybe Diva gave birth to a healthy colt by the Epsom Derby winner Galileo. In 2007 she was supposed to be served by Encosta de Lago, but due to the outbreak of equine influenza she was instead covered by Fusaichi Pegasus and had a filly.

Diva won over $14 million in prize-money, but she also won a spot in the hearts of Australians and New Zealanders alike.

Once, twice, three times a Diva. Go the Diva.
Horse News More In This Category:  Horse Stories      Horse News More From This Author:  Valkyrie
Acorn Acres  
I won a bet that she would win the Melbourne Cup one year haha. Only amongst friends though, maybe I should've put some money on her! :P
  Feb 1, 2010  •  3,433 views
 
Dreamer100  
WOW! Great race horse. What do you think about horse racing? I think people should let other people do what they want to do!
  Feb 2, 2010  •  3,319 views
 
Pandamonium  
I had a bet on her for her third win XD
  Feb 2, 2010  •  3,413 views
 
Valkyrie   MOD 
Dreamer: I LOVE horse racing. Alot of the things animal rights people complain about isn't true.
  Feb 2, 2010  •  3,321 views
 
Cruisin Past Curfew  
Very nice article. She has a beautiful name in my opinion ^.^
  Apr 3, 2012  •  3,318 views
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