Reigning Australian Horse of the Year Makybe Diva is the hot favorite for Friday's W.S. Cox Plate (Aust-I) at Moonee Valley.
Makybe Diva turned in another strong performance with her victory in the Turnbull Stakes (Aust-II) Oct. 1.
Her eight graded wins, including five group Is, have netted owner/breeder Tony Santic more than $9.6 million. The daughter of Desert King is trained by Lee Freedman and will have regular rider Glen Boss back aboard. Makybe Diva drew the four post.
Following the Cox Plate, she is intended for the Melbourne Cup Nov. 1, the country's biggest race, which she has won the past two years.
The race drew a full field of 14.
New Zealand star Xcellent drew post 13. He is the first starter in the race for trainer Mike Moroney.
The odds as posted by William Hill: 6-5 Makybe Diva, 8-1 Hotel Grand, Gods Own, Xcellent, 9-1 Lad of the Manor, 12-1 Desert War, Greys Inn, 14-1 Confectioner, 16-1 Super Kid, 20-1 Fields of Omagh, 25-1 Lotteria, 40-1 Outback Prince, 66-1 Tosen Dandy, 100-1 Sky Cuddle.