Master headlines support cast

While horse-of-the-year Weekend Hussler and the unbeaten Light Fantastic will be the headline attractions in Saturday's Makybe Diva Stakes at Flemington, their inclusion has largely overshadowed the return of last year's Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup winners.

With trainer Ross McDonald still tossing up whether to start Weekend Hussler, the return of both Master O'Reilly and Efficient will give racegoers an insight into their progress for this year's Melbourne Cup.

Flemington trainer Danny O'Brien confirmed 2007 Caulfield Cup winner Master O'Reilly would start in the Makybe Diva. Master O'Reilly is first-up, having had one race in May to "keep the horse ticking over".

"He's done everything we've asked," O'Brien said.

The O'Brien-trained Gallopin was also entered for the Makybe Diva but will run in the Sofitel over 1700 metres, with O'Brien still perplexed by the horse's failure at Caulfield recently.

"He's eaten up and done everything we've asked of him and I really can't put my finger on what went wrong. He's a much, much better horse than that; maybe it was the sticky track at Caulfield, I don't know, but all I can stay is, that's not a reflection of Gallopin," O'Brien said.

Efficient is owned by Lloyd Williams, who said the grey had furnished as a horse since his success in the 2007 Melbourne Cup and that a track gallop at Caulfield last Saturday had also helped the five-year-old.

"We took Efficient and Zipping to Caulfield and I think it tightens them up that little bit by travelling to a race meeting and having a gallop and then coming home. We alternate working him from the farm and then back at Flemington but he's really shaping as though he'll have a good spring," Williams said of Efficient.

Interesting entries in the Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200 metres) at Flemington are the top West Australian performer Marasco, who has not raced since winning over 1400 metres at Belmont in Perth in June, and O'Brien's Irish import Alexander of Hales, last start second in the Irish Derby.

Story by Patrick Bartley

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Photo by Bruno Cannatelli

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