A Visit with Makybe Diva

A visit to Port Lincoln would not be complete without a close up look at the Makybe Diva Statue on the Foreshore.

For those who do not know the history:

Makybe Diva is a Race Horse and is the highest stakes winner in Australian History. She was bought by Port Lincoln local Tony Santic who named her after five of his employees – Maureen, Kylie, Belinda, Diane, and Vanessa – by taking the first two letters from each of their names.

Stake money: $14,526,685

Major wins: VRC Melbourne Cup (three times) AJC Sydney Cup MVRC W.S. Cox Plate VRC Australian Cup STC The BMW VRC Queen Elizabeth Stakes

Interesting fact: Although Makybe Diva is a legend of the Australian turf, she was conceived in Ireland and foaled in England, and is classified as one of the nine foreign bred horses to win the Melbourne Cup. She failed to attract a bid at auction in England and was brought to Australia by owner, Tony Santic.

The life-sized statue was made by Port Lincoln artist Ken Martin, funded by the tuna industry and local government, and is located on the city’s foreshore.

Martin took nine months and said he worked seven days a week to create the statue, using some 5,000 kilograms of plasticine on a steel frame which was bronzed.

For me, whenever I think of horse racing, especially The Melbourne Cup, I am reminded of my now long gone Grandpa, he loved the races and taught me a thing or two and placed a bet for me in the 1976 race, won by the horse I chose, Van Der Hum. Some of my fondest childhood memories and I know he would have loved the Makybe Diva story.

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