Makybe Diva’s second last yearling will sell through the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling sale (Slickpix)

Makybe Stud’s manager Joe Murray is wondering whether selling the second last foal of three-time Melbourne Cup winner Makybe Diva will come back to slap him in the face.

Murray admits it took a bit of a convincing to talk the stud and Makybe Diva’s owner, Tony Santic, into selling the yearling filly by Written Tycoon in the Gold Coast Magic Millions Yearling Sale.

The 21 year-old mare has a foal at foot by More Than Ready – and that’s her last one.

Makybe Stud is offering this year’s draft through Lime Country Thoroughbreds, New South Wales.

“We had ten by one has been withdrawn – Starspangledbanner/Japanese,” Murray said.

“Last year with our draft we were top heavy with the fillies and they sold really well. This year we are top heavy with colts but our fillies are just as strong.

“Our colts were weaker last year, but this year I think it is much more even. I mean the pedigrees and stallions, you would like to think they are commercial.

“Last year with the fillies we had some standouts but I think this year the Written Tycoon/Makybe Diva is a beautiful filly and the Not a Single Doubt/Queen’s Crown filly was Gai Waterhouse’s pick when she was down at the farm.

‘”And you throw in the Capitalist/La Dolce Diva and we have very strong fillies that are more than capable of taking on the boys again.”

Murray rates the best filly as the one from Makybe Diva.

“She is a beautiful moving filly and even if you don’t look at the page or anything like that, on type alone and when you see her moving across the paddock, I’m fully prepared to have egg all over my face.

“Having not sold anything out of the mare for a couple of years, this one is going to bounce back at us and slap us in the face. I think this filly can run and would be the pick out of our fillies.

Lot 500 Written Tycoon x Maybe Diva filly will head through the ring as part of Lime Country’s draft

“And of the boys, I have always liked the Written Tycoon/Stolen Angel colt. He doesn’t look like an out and out two year-old but he can run. Again, when you see him in the paddock he puts the ears back and won’t let anything go past him. He is one of those horses that he is always out the front.

“He is probably a touch upright in conformation, but the one stallion you can get away with that is Written Tycoon.

“I like those two Written Tycoons but as I said it is a strong draft and we are not trying to hide or sneak anything in for the draft and everything that is there deserves to be there.”

Murray explained that they have been running their draft and preparation through Lime Country Thoroughbreds in New South Wales after down-sizing which saw Rosemont Stud buy part of the property that contained the stabling facilities and other infrastructure.

He admitted the preparation of the yearlings was always a big headache for the farm to get the staff, have the facilities and while Santic enjoyed what they did it, the task was huge.

“When we sold, we decided to outsource that side of things,” Murray said.

“The horses are all out grown out here and only leave pretty much just the prep and everything else is done at the farm, but it is a serious undertaking.”

Murray said they have 22 yearlings on the property and 15 of them are going to the two top sales in Australia.

“And that’s the whole premise that we want to be,’’ he said.

“We are still supporting Melbourne as well, but the whole idea is to breed the best and it’s very hard to return a profit on these horses and the idea is to try to get them to the big sales.”

Before selling part of the property to Rosemont, Murray said their yearling numbers were up to 60 when they supported every sale in Australia.

“The sales we want to be at now are Melbourne, Magic’s and Easter,” he said.

Murray is excited with the Cable Bay/Our Miss Jones yearling who he describes as a beautiful big colt that has had some strength put into him by the sire.

“He has put a lot of strength into the hind quarters and I haven’t seen too many Cable Bay’s but I know everyone has been happy with them and the sales people are very, very happy with the one we have,” he said.

“We are delighted to get him up there. Cable Bay’s service fee has doubled in Ireland.

“I know he was very hard to get into at Woodside and his book filled very, very quickly.”

Murray said the Shalaa (IRE) colt out of Fancy Feet was interesting because the Makybe Stud sold his half-sister on the Gold Coast.

Leading trainer Tony McEvoy paid $500,000 for a yearling filly (Lopez) out of Fancy Feet at last year’s sale.

“We went back to Shalaa, a son of Invincible Spirt, twice as we really liked the two that we had,” Murray said.

He expects the Snitzel/Life in a Metro to create plenty of interest with potential buyers, including those from South Africa.”

“He is a big, beautiful colt and most of the South Africans have bought a lot from the family,” he said.

“The More Than Ready/La Fluorescent (NZ) colt is another that should attract plenty of interest.  She had a filly that  Singo (John Singleton) bought last year for $360,000 and in her first race in November last year she ran down the straight at Flemington and finished fourth in a Group 3. She’s called La Girl and is by Not a Single Doubt.

“They were going to go for the Magic Millions two year-old race but I think they’ve put her in the paddock now.”

Murray said the market would determine whether the yearlings would be well received or not.

“We couldn’t be happier with what we have got going up and we know Lime Country do a good job with them and really we were happy with what they did last year,” he said.

“We sold everything on the Gold Coast last year and we are there to sell again and don’t have any intention of bringing anything home.”

And as for Makybe Diva, Murray said Santic had decided she would be pensioned off.

“Tony says enough is enough,” he said.

“With Makybe, he always wants it to be a positive story.”

Murray isn’t sure whether Santic will retain Makybe Diva’s last foal but said they have got plenty of the family with three of her daughters.

“We have got plenty to either race or breed from and we have four half-sisters, so we are heavy in stock with the family and I am probably always pushing to sell because you don’t want to get to the sales where you are overly subscribed with the one family,” he said.

“I won the battle to get this filly to the sales, so I’m sure I am never going to live it down when she comes out and wins something. I will take on the battle with the More Than Ready filly when we get to that stage.

“It’s just one battle at a time.”

All the yearlings are from Santic’s mares which now number 35, but the good producing mare, 20 year-old Gold Anthem, the dam of Starspangledbanner, will probably join Makybe Diva in retirement.

“Gold Anthem is in foal again to The Autumn Sun.” Murray said.

“A few will be pensioned off and they’ll be nannies or mates for the spellers. A few might be moved on and turned over and we’ll bring in some fresh stock as well.”

Makybe Diva and her Written Tycoon filly as a foal


Lot 45 – Chestnut colt: Zoustar/Without Saying

Lot 294 – Bay colt: Shalaa (IRE)/Fancy Feet

Lot 452 – Chestnut filly: Capitalist/La Dolce Diva

Lot 453 – Chestnut colt: More Than Ready (USA)/La Fluorescent (NZ)

Lot 475 – Bay colt: Snitzel/Life in a Metro

Lot 500 – Bay filly: Written Tycoon/Makybe Diva (GB)

Lot 606 – Brown or black colt: Cable Bay (IRE)/Our Miss Jones (NZ)

Lot 662 – Bay filly: Not a Single Doubt/Queen’s Crown

Lot 815 – Chestnut colt: Written Tycoon/Stolen Angel


Lot 416 – Bay colt: Starspangledbanner/Japanese