How destiny and magic claimed a nation?s heart

MELBOURNE ? First there was Phar Lap, then Bradman, now the Diva.

The majestic Makybe Diva strode into immortality to win her third Melbourne Cup at Flemington yesterday as the nation watched in awe, not knowing it was the last time we would see her.

Her owner Tony Santic immediately announced she would be retired in the best way possible ? at the top of her game.

Lee Freedman said she was not only the best horse he had ever trained but the best he had seen and her jockey Glen Boss said it was simply meant to be. After a week of doubt about whether she would run, whether the track would be too hard and was it just too much to ask, Makybe Diva told her rider on Saturday that she was ready and he did the rest.

Boss peeled her off at the top of the straight and looked for an opening he knew would come as it has the past two years. With a record weight, Makybe Diva strode clear to a deafening roar to beat On A Jeune by 1-1/4 lengths with New Zealand's champion Xcellent another half-length away third.



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