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14/9/2018 Makybe Diva trip to suit Grunt

Caulfield trainer Mick Price is looking forward to lining up his exciting four-year-old Grunt (NZ) (O’Reilly) in the Gr.1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on Saturday, his first major spring target. The Group One winner has had two runs this preparation and while he was unplaced in both, Price was happy enough with his runs and said the roomier Flemington track and the step up in distance to a mile will suit the O’Reilly entire. “I think he’s going great,” Price said. “I had to put two 1400m runs under his belt. He’s a four-year-old entire and I thought he needed a bit of racing. “The P.B. Lawrence was too far away from the Maykybe Diva, he got beaten a length there. He got beaten two and three-quarter lengths the other day (Memsie Stakes). “Back to the big Flemington mile, I think you will see him show up and I’m looking forward to it.” What path Grunt will take after Saturday has yet to be  
decided, with Price wanting to see how the land lies after the Group One feature. “He’s still a horse that we need to learn more about,” Price said. “He’s a lightly raced four-year-old entire and coming into races like the Turnbull, where do you go from there? Do you go Caulfield Cup or do you go Caulfield Stakes into the Cox Plate? “I need a bit of information on the run through. We need to see what the opposition is doing and how his form is. Whether he is a Caulfield Cup-Melbourne Cup type of horse remains to be seen. “I think from here, given the races get out in distance, you will start to see him improve.” Damien Oliver returns to the saddle on Saturday and they will start from barrier six. “He’s drawn a nice gate to have a nice run in the race so I think he’ll start to show up from Saturday,” Price said. Meanwhile, Grunt’s rivals include last start Group One winner Humidor (NZ) (Teofilo) and the Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained Jon Snow (NZ) (Iffraaj). “We were pleased with Jon Snow’s run in the Tarzino,” Baker said. “He has settled in well at Flemington and has worked well, so he is a horse on the improve, but it looks a very strong field on Saturday.” – NZ Racing Desk  

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