Hard Spun's Gatting Shocks in Makybe Diva
Mark Smith - Saturday September 14

The flags were flying proudly in Perth on Saturday as shortly after their champion Arcadia Queen captured the Group II Theo Marks Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill with a minimum of fuss, the hard-knocking Gatting did what he failed to achieve in three starts at home, win a race at the highest level.

While the odds-on favourite Arcadia Queen received a rousing reception, Gatting, a 6yo gelded son of Hard Spun (Danzig), captured the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at his first look at Flemington and returned to scale in the silence reserved for $101 winners that have just knocked off the short-priced favourite.

With Jamie Kah having her first sit on the Darren Mcauliffe-trained gelding, Gatting was always travelling sweetly on pace and proved three-quarters of a length too good for the Tassie champion Mystic Journey (Needs Further) with the same distance back to Mr Quickie (Shamus Award) who flashed home to be a luckless third.  (images Grant Courtney)

It was the second Group 1 for Kah and a first for Mcauliffe.

"I've always had a lot of faith in the horse," Mcauliffe said.

"He didn't have things go his way first-up but he's got form around Arcadia Queen that we saw win in Sydney and I think we've raced Scales Of Justice a couple of times and beaten him home each time.

"Jamie rode him perfectly, following instructions to the letter, and we got it right.

"He's a good horse, we've got a Group One now, so it's fantastic."

Gatting holds an entry to the Cox Plate at Moonee Valley and is likely to make his next start in Underwood Stakes at Caulfield on September 29 ahead of the Caulfield Stakes on October 12.

With his first win at the highest level, Gatting advances his record to 11 wins, 8 seconds and 4 thirds from 38 starts with earnings of $1,896,200.

Lonhro is really making a name as a broodmare sire and Gatting is the first foal of his daughter Stubborn who was a 7-start maiden.

A bargain $17,000 purchase at the 2013 Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale, Stubborn went through the same sale in 2018 where she was purchased by Mark Pilkington Management/Cornerstone Stud for $200,000 when she was carrying a filly by Hinchinbrook that tragically died after birth.

A full-sister to the Group III STC Research Stakes winner Trim, the dam of Listed winner Manicure (Exceed And Excel), Stubborn was covered by So You Think last spring.

Gatting joins triple Group 1 winner Le Romain and Group 1 SAF Cape Derby Stakes winner Ertijaal as winners at the highest level from five seasons at stud in Australia by the 2007 Grade 1 King's Bishop Stakes winner Hard Spun (USA).


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