Although Makybe Diva is a legend of the Australian turf, she was conceived in Ireland and foaled in England, and is classified as one of the nine foreign bred horses to win the Melbourne Cup. She failed to attract a bid at auction in England and was brought to Australia by owner, Tony Santic.


TRAINER: David Hall, Lee Freedman

OWNERS: Emily Kristina (Aust) Pty Ltd Syndicate (Mgr. T.Santic)

RACE RECORD/STAKE MONEY: 36 starts: 15 wins, 4 seconds, 3 thirds/$14,526,685

Major Wins 

  • Melbourne Cup (three times)
  • Sydney Cup
  • W.S. Cox Plate
  • Australian Cup
  • The BMW Stakes
  • Queen Elizabeth Stakes


"Go and find the smallest child on the racecourse because he might be the only one to see it happen again". So said trainer Lee Freedman after Makybe Diva's historic third victory in the 2005 Melbourne Cup. Cup 'King' Bart Cummings put it very simply; "Well, you can't do better than that".

Makybe Diva's rise to the highest pinnacle of Australian racing began modestly, with wins on provincial tracks followed by victory in the 2002 Listed Werribee Cup and the Group 2 Queen Elizabeth Stakes. A year later, after a dashing fourth in the Caulfield Cup, she was not produced again until the Melbourne Cup which she won decisively. Taken to Sydney for the 2004 autumn carnival, she won the Sydney Cup, becoming the first horse since Galilee in 1966-67 to win the Melbourne Cup and Sydney Cup in the same season.

Makybe Diva's 2004 spring campaign was highlighted by her narrow half head defeat in the Caulfield Cup and the dramatic winning of her second Melbourne Cup. In so doing she became the fifth horse to win two Melbourne Cups, the fourth horse to win two consecutive Melbourne Cups, and the first mare to accomplish this feat.

2005 was a succession of triumphs for Makybe Diva with wins in the Australian Cup, BMW Stakes, Memsie Stakes, Turnbull Stakes, Cox Plate and record breaking third Melbourne Cup. World thoroughbred rankings then rated her the best filly/mare in the world, and the best horse of any sex beyond 2,700 metres.

Makybe Diva was inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame in 2006 and elevated to legend status in 2010. 

Image Source: Australian Racing Museum Collection