Makybe Diva to return to Flemington for Sofitel Girls’ Day Out

4 September 2023 Written by VRC

The VRC is excited to announce that champion three-time Melbourne Cup-winning mare Makybe Diva will return to Flemington for a special appearance on Saturday 16 September for Sofitel Girls’ Day Out.

On the eve of the 20th anniversary of her first Cup win, Makybe Diva will attend the race day as a special guest of the VRC, with racegoers able to get up close to the staying superstar for the first time since her history-making moment in 2005.

Fans will be able to visit her in the race day stalls throughout the day and watch her parade in the Mounting Yard before the running of the race named in her honour, the $750,000 Group 1 PFD Foods Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m).

Makybe Diva last returned to Flemington in 2020 for the Lexus Melbourne Cup when no crowds were permitted on-course.

VRC Chairman Neil Wilson is very much looking forward to welcoming “The Diva” back to Flemington and was grateful to Tony Santic for sharing the champion mare with the public again.

“It is very fitting to celebrate the return of Group 1 racing at Flemington with a very special appearance of Makybe Diva, one of Australia’s original equine mega stars. On behalf of the VRC, I thank Tony Santic for his generosity in bringing her back to Flemington” Mr Wilson said.

“She sits among the greats of not only horse racing but Australian sporting stars. Her statue stands proudly at Flemington as a symbol of her impact on racing in Australia and internationally.

“Australia has been blessed with star mares such as Winx and Black Caviar since Makybe Diva, but it’s unlikely that any horse will win three Melbourne Cups in a row again and we felt it was important to not only relive her journey, but to involve the next generation of followers of our sport in her remarkable story.”

Managing owner Tony Santic is pleased to be able to bring her back to Flemington.

“Flemington will always hold a special place in my heart, and it is an honour to be able to bring her back here to share her with the people who gave her so much during her racing career,” Mr Santic said.

“It is incredible to think that this journey began 20 years ago and it brings back such fond memories. We are so happy to see Makybe enjoy a happy retirement after all of the joy she brought myself, my family and the wider Australian public.”

To celebrate the occasion, a host of themed arts and crafts with Makybe-inspired designs will be available for racegoers to enjoy including face painting and colouring in activities.

Makybe Diva’s three Melbourne Cup trophies will be on display near the Makybe Diva statue with racegoers able to have their picture taken with the goldware.

Tickets and packages are on-sale for Sofitel Girls Day Out with General Admission tickets available for $30 per person. Children under the age of 12 are admitted free to Flemington.