Is Diva owner coming for Cup?

ONE of horse racing's biggest celebrities could be headed to Coffs Harbour next week for the Carlton Draught Coffs Harbour Gold Cup Day.

Tony Santic, owner of the legendary Makybe Diva is all but assured of having a starter in the town's biggest race next Thursday with the Rob Heathcote trained On The Up.

The five-year-old gelding showed at Eagle Farm on Saturday that he was returning to somewhere near his best with a stirring half head victory over the highly rated Sir Sensible.

Former Coffs Harbour apprentice Glenn Colless was aboard On The Up on Saturday and helped the Santic-owned stayer to a gallop that saw him finish more than seven lengths ahead of last year's Gold Cup winner, Mr Gold Fire.

Last spring, when being trained under the eagle eye of John Hawkes, On The Up was still striving to make the field for the Melbourne Cup on Derby Day.

The stayer needed to win the SAAB Quality to qualify and give Santic a chance at a fourth successive Melbourne Cup but he came up short.

Missing out on the big day was a disappointment for the connections but it proves that this gelding has the class to give next week's annual racing highlight a real touch of class.

Mullet-haired fishing tycoon Santic will probably arrive without Makybe Diva masks but his presence will also add to the glamour of the day.



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