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Tony Šantić

Tony Šantić (born 17 October 1952, Lastovo, Croatia) is a noted Australian thoroughbred owner and tuna farmer. He came to Australia with his family in 1958, aged six. His parents settled in Geelong, Victoria for the next 8 years before Tony & his mother moved to Port Lincoln.[1]


Early life

Šantić gained initial success in tuna fishing at Port Lincoln. Times were slightly tough in the early 1990s, when tuna quotas were reduced twice, sending a number of related businesses into financial hardship and shutting down others. Tuna farming turned around and Šantić's Tuna International is the second biggest tuna farming operation in Port Lincoln. Slightly lower than usual times in the tuna industry, in 1997, he decided to pursue his interest in horse racing.


In early 2009 Šantić's divorce from his second wife Christine was finalized. On 25 April 2009, he married his third wife, Deslee Kennedy.

Makybe Diva

He bought an in-foal brood mare called Tugela at the Tattersall sale. The subsequent foal, a filly, failed to attract a bid at Newmarket, so Tony decided to bring her to Australia and eventually sent her to David Hall. His base for his horse racing business is "Smytzer's Park" near Geelong.

In August 2005, Makybe Diva was named Australian Champion Racehorse of the Year at award ceremonies in Melbourne. She was also awarded the titles of Most Popular Racehorse and Champion Stayer (over 2200m). On 22 October 2005, Makybe Diva won the 2040m W S Cox Plate at Melbourne's Moonee Valley racecourse. With this victory, Makybe Diva became the first horse in Australasian racing history to claim three Melbourne Cups[2][3][4] and a Cox Plate.

On 1 November 2005, Makybe Diva won her third Melbourne Cup in a row - the first horse in history to achieve this feat. Comparisons are now being made with Phar Lap, a legendary Australian horse who achieved fame in the 1930s.


  1. "Šantić boys quit tuna firm". http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,21678648-11088,00.html. Retrieved 2008-03-27. 
  2. 2003 Melbourne Cup result
  3. 2004 Melbourne Cup result
  4. 2005 Melbourne Cup result


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