Who Is Makybe Diva?

Makybe Diva ... three consecutive Melbourne Cup victories
••• Makybe Diva ... three consecutive Melbourne Cup victories. Photo: Mark Dadswell/Getty Images

Question: Who Is Makybe Diva?

  • Supermare Makybe Diva won the 2005 Melbourne Cup at Melbourne's Flemington Racecourse to mark an historic victory in Australia's biggest and most famous horse race.

    With her 2005 win, Makybe Diva became the only racehorse to have won the Melbourne Cup three times — and in successive years.

    Makybe Diva's retirement from racing was announced after the running of the 2005 Melbourne Cup.


    Makybe Diva is the seven-year-old mare (at the time of the 2005 Melbourne Cup) who entered the Australian horse racing record books by being the first racehorse to win three consecutive Melbourne Cup races (2003, 2004, 2005).

    In the 2003 Melbourne Cup she flashed home to win over She's Archie, second, and Jardines Lookout, third.

    She repeated her winning performance in the 2004 Melbourne Cup by beating Irish horse Vinnie Roe into second place and long-priced Zazzman third.

    In the 2005 Melbourne Cup, she flashed home to beat On a Jeune and Xcellent.

    Makybe Diva was the short-priced favorite for the 2005 Cup.

    Sydney Cup

    In between her first two Melbourne Cup wins, she squeezed in a Sydney Cup victory and is the first horse since Carbine in 1890 to win the Sydney Cup and Melbourne Cup in the same year.

    Born in England

    Makybe Diva was conceived in Ireland and born in England. Put up for auction she failed to attract a bid in England and owner Tony Santic, a tuna fisherman from South Australia, shipped her home to Australia.

    Two trainers

    In the 2003 Melbourne Cup, Makybe Diva was trained to success by David Hall who has since moved to Hong Kong. She was then transferred to trainer Lee Freedman who guided her to her second and third Melbourne Cup wins.


    Makybe Diva was ridden by jockey Glen Boss in all three Melbourne Cups.


    Stuck for a name, owner Santic passed on the problem to five of his women employees in his fishing business. Not finding inspiration from the bloodlines, the women settled on using the first two letters of their given names in naming the filly.

    The five women were Maureen Dellar, Kylie Bascomb, Belinda Grocke, Dianne Tonkin and Vanessa Parthenis whose names are now part of Australian racing history.

    Career highlights

    In August 2005, Makybe Diva was named Australian Champion Racehorse of the Year at award ceremonies in Melbourne. She was also awarded the titles of Most Popular Racehorse and Champion Stayer (over 2200m).

    On October 22, 2005, Makybe Diva won the 2040m W S Cox Plate at Melbourne's Moonee Valley racecourse. With this victory, Makybe Diva became the first horse in Australasian racing history to claim two Melbourne Cups and a Cox Plate.

    More Makybe Diva Career Highlights