By Duane Fonseca
The connections of Mr Brightside could not have asked for a better script than the one that played out which led to their runner registering a rather comfortable and controlled success in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes at Flemington in Australia.
Those linked with the horse were jockey Craig Williams, trainers Ben, Will and JD Hayes and owners Lindsay Park Bloodstock and Green Shorts Racing Et Al, who added to their own Group One tallies after Mr Brightside flew to win by a length and a half.
The 6yo Bullbars gelding was heavily backed stepping into the gates and delivered in the mile contest with a breezy late sprint that left his rivals bewildered. Most notably, the second favourite Alligator Blood, who robbed of the lead late on battled to keep his runners-up spot against a fast-gaining Osipenko, who took third.
Mr Brightside made his 11th win in 20 starts look like a walk in the park really as he serenely ran to a pace set by the Damien Oliver led Alligator Blood, who is jointly trained by Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott. Williams hadn’t moved a muscle until the final furlong pole which was when he gave his mount a bit of a nudge.
On receiving his orders Mr Brightside got his stride to peak and with every step gained on Alligator Blood and then moved further away. Alligator Blood had beaten Mr Brightside thrice at this level: in Sandown’s Underwood Stakes and the Futurity Stakes, and the Champions Mile over course and distance last November.
But Mr Brightside ensured history did not repeat itself and was a solid length and a half clear at the wire with Osipenko a further half length behind in third for trainer Chris Waller and jockey Mark Zahra.
In winning, the Hayes’ trainee added to his resume a fourth Group One success, having previously won the Group 1 Doncaster Mile at Randwick twice on the bounce and the Group 1 Memsie Stakes at Caulfield two weeks ago.