La Amistad will never reach the illustrious status of Makybe Diva but she has staked a claim for this year’s Melbourne Cup after a convincing victory at Flemington.

The Team Hawkes stayer is a younger three-quarter sister to the legendary mare and won the only other two-miler at headquarters in the LR Andrew Ramsden Stakes (3200m) on Saturday.

“That was a great effort and those colours look alright over two miles at Flemington,” co-trainer Wayne Hawkes said. “She might not have won by panels it was a solid effort to come from last.”

La Amistad (5m Redoute’s Choice – Tugela by Riverman) is a Makybe homebred and failed to reach a $750,000 reserve at the 2011 Inglis Easter yearling sale. She has now won 6 races and $334,740 for owners Tony and Deslee Santic, Micheal Sullivan and GPI Racing.

“It’s unfortunate that she’s got to live in her sister’s shadow,” jockey Damien Oliver said. “But she got stronger and stronger the further they went on Saturday.”

Tugela(USA) was purchased for 60,000gns by Tony Santic at the 1998 Tattersall’s Sale in Newmarket. She died a fortnight after foaling an All Too Hard filly last October.

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