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Makybe Given 58kg For 3rd Melb Cup Bid
Australia's current champion Horse-Of-The-Year & dual 2003-04 Gr1 Melbourne Cup-winning 7YO mare Makybe Diva (Desert King-Tugela, by Riverman) was allotted 58kg when yesterday's keenly-awaited weights were announced for the 2005 $5 million Gr1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on Tuesday November 1. As Makybe Diva bids for an unprecedented 3rd successive Cup victory, the 58kg represents a 2.5kg increase on last year (when her 55.5kg winning impost set a new weight-carrying record for a mare). Racing Victoria chief handicapper Greg Carpenter noted it was "at the bottom end of penalties in recent history"; only 4 horses have received just 2.5kg when returning to defend their title: Jeune (1995), Tawriffic (1990), What A Nuisance (1986) & Hyperno (1980). Carpenter commented: "In the 12 months since last year's win, Makybe Diva has been transformed from a champion 2-miler into a weight-for-age superstar. The 58kg, which represents 2kg above weight-for-age, rates her the equal of Might And Power (who got 60.5kg in 1998). While her successful return last Saturday in the Gr2 Memsie Stakes had no bearing on the weight she will carry in this year's Cup, it firmly established she is racing in career best form." While only 1 mare older than 6YO has ever won the Melbourne Cup (Acrasia in 1904) Carpenter believes the weight "will provide owner Tony Santic & trainer Lee Freedman with plenty to ponder" & added the weight was "a challenge, but achievable".