11/02/2004 12:00AM

Makybe Diva repeats Melbourne Cup win

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Makybe Diva became the first mare to score a repeat victory in the Melbourne Cup at Flemington Racecourse on Tuesday, after which her trainer Lee Freedman said that she could be pointed to the Ascot Gold Cup and the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe next year.

Still only sixteenth of 24 with half a mile of the two-mile $3.4 million Group 1 handicap to run, Makybe Diva rallied along the rail under Glen Boss to lead at the furlong-pole, holding off the renewed challenge of Irish invader Vinnie Roe by 1-1/4 lengths. The winning time of the 6-year-old British-bred daughter of Desert King was 3:28.55 on yielding ground.

Last year, Makybe Diva had defeated She's Archie, last on Tuesday, by the same margin in Australia's most famous race when trained by David Hall, who has since moved his stable to Hong Kong. Her new trainer Freedman had nixed a plan by owner Tony Santic to send her to Tokyo for the Japan Cup after Makybe Diva had finished a nose second in the Oct. 2 Caulfield Cup to Elvstroem, who was fourth on Tuesday. The win was Freedman's fourth Melbourne Cup triumph.

Trained by Dermot Weld, who had won Melbourne Cups with Vintage Crop in 1993 and Media Puzzle two years ago, Vinnie Roe was improving on his fourth-place finish behind Media Puzzle, who was twelfth this year. Godolphin runners Mamool and Razkalla came home seventh and ninth respectively.