Makybe Diva Stakes: Melbourne Cup winner Vow And Declare one of four likely runners for Danny O’Brien

Trainer Danny O’Brien could have up to four runners in Saturday’s Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington.

O’Brien nominated five runners for the $750,000 contest. He said all bar Orderofthegarter could run in the Makybe Diva Stakes depending on their recovery from gallops on the Flemington course proper on Tuesday.

“Definitely Russian Camelot and Vow And Declare, Miami Bound (will run) and possibly King Of Leogrance,” O’Brien said.

O’Brien was looking forward to the Vow And Declare’s return in the Makybe Diva Stakes.

Vow And Declare will have his first chance of the spring to impress regular rider Craig Williams, who was aboard for the gelding’s Melbourne Cup triumph last year.

Williams has kept his options open on a 2020 Melbourne Cup ride.

He rode Cup favourite Surprise Baby to a close second in last Saturday’s Group 2 Feehan Stakes (1600m) at The Valley.

Craig Williams will need to decide in the next few weeks whether to stick with Vow And Declare for a crack at a second Melbourne Cup. Picture: Jason EdwardsSource:News Corp Australia

Williams hasn’t committed to riding either stayer in the Melbourne Cup but O’Brien said the jockey had first call on the Vow And Declare ride.

“He’s made no decision and he’s still got the ride on our horse because he won the Melbourne Cup on him,” O’Brien said.

“He made a decision to ride Surprise Baby in the Feehan but I don’t think it’s anything beyond that.

“We’ll see what happens during the spring but we’re sticking with Craig at this stage.”

Damien Oliver will ride Russian Camelot, who will step out for the first time since his Group 1 South Australian Derby win in May.

O’Brien said both Russian Camelot and Vow And Declare were in good condition ahead of their return to racing on Saturday.

“They’ve had a good winter and come up in great shape,” O’Brien said. “The horses are very fit, short of their best distances, but we expect them to run well.”

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Originally published asMakybe Diva quartet possible for O’Brien

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