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Diva secures third Melbourne Cup - Bookies mourn

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Diva secures third Melbourne Cup

 

MELBOURNE CUP 2005

Glen Boss comes home on Makybe Diva

1 Makybe Diva 17-5f

2 On A Jeune 70-1

3 Xcellent 20-1

24 ran. Dist: 1¼, ½

 

Makybe Diva made horse racing history as she won the Melbourne Cup for a record third consecutive time at Flemington on Tuesday.

 

The seven-year-old pulled clear in the closing stages to take an emphatic win ahead of On A Jeune and Xcellent.

 

"What a great mare - she's just unbelievable. She was cruising, just off the bridle," said tearful jockey Glen Boss after the famous victory.

 

Owner Tony Santic promptly retired the English-born horse after the race.

 

"I had such an easy run it was almost like on my bike," added Boss, who was also in the saddle for the previous two triumphs.

 

"This is Phar Lap the second."

 

Phar Lap was a legendary horse in Australia, winning 36 of his 50 starts in the late 1920s and early 1930s.

 

 

We will never see anything like her again

Trainer Lee Freedman

 

It was the first time in the history of the 145-year-old race that a horse had won three years in a row.

 

The crowd of more than 100,000 gave Makybe Diva, Boss, Santic and trainer Lee Freedman a rapturous reception as the pre-race favourite made her way back to the winners' enclosure.

 

"I always thought she could do it," said Freedman. "She's just a great, great horse.

 

 

Magnificent achievement, she certainly deserves a very long and happy retirement

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"We will never see anything like her again."

 

The trainer was in emotional mood as he celebrated his prized horse's achievements.

 

"What she did was one of the greatest sporting events ever witnessed in Australia," he enthused.

 

"Go and find the smallest child on this course and there will be the only example of a person who will live long enough to see that again."

 

 

MAKYBE DIVA FACTFILE

Wins: 15 from 36 races

Prize money: A$14.4m (£6m)

Trainer: Lee Freedman (Aus)

Jockey: Glen Boss (Aus)

Owner: Croatian-born South Australian tuna fisherman Tony Santic

Freedman had waited until late on before confirming Makybe Diva's participation because of concerns over the ground, but decided to race after officials watered the track.

 

Boss was also full of emotion after digesting the impact of three successive victories with his star mount.

 

"She's immortal," he exclaimed. "She's just such a gutsy, determined mare. I'm struggling for words."

 

Makybe Diva's victory will be a major headache for bookmakers, with millions of dollars gambled on the result.

 

The horse's unusual name came about by taking the first two letters of the names of five women who work in Santic's tuna factory - Maureen, Kylie, Belinda, Diane and Vanessa.

 

The three European runners - Distinction, Franklins Gardens (England, 19th and 24th) and Vinnie Roe (Ireland, eighth) - were unable to make much of an impression.

 

# Makybe Diva's achievements are all the more remarkable given the weight which previous winners must carry in the handicap race.

 

She was allocated 58kg (127.8lbs) - some seven kilograms (15.4lbs) more than the runner-up On A Jeune.

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I didn't care much when I was in the country last year. In fact, I slept through the whole day.

 

Things haven't changed much in 12 months.

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