The time honoured Group 1 Newmarket Handicap is the only G1 sprint over 1200m on the Australian turf calendar held under open handicap conditions. The 6 furlong dash down the Flemington straight, is the ‘Grand Final’ of the 3 big sprint races of the Melbourne Autumn, those races being the Lightning Stakes, the Oakleigh Plate and this event.
In 2016 the field will race for $1.25m in stakes with the winner set to receive $750,000 of that. Top sprinters of the modern era that have taken this race include Black Caviar, Weekend Hussler, Miss Andretti, Takeover Target, Schillaci and Placid Ark. While from the history books, other winners have been Wakeful, Gothic, Auries Star and Ajax.
The Newmarket Handicap forms a part of the Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival.
Odds and previews are available for all the major Autumn Racing Carnival races at UBET's Autumn Racing Betting Hub.
|Newmarket Handicap Guide|
|Date:||Saturday 12th March 2016|
|Race Time:||14:50 AEST|
|Race Type:||Open Handicap|
|2015 Winner:||Brazen Beau|
|2016 Newmarket Handicap Odds|
|8||THE QUARTERBACK||1ST||$17.10 (win)|
|4||BLACK HEART BART||2ND||$3.30 (pl)|
CHAUTAUQUA is a star but the weights favour JAPONISME. There was only a half head between them in the Lightning Stakes when Chautauqua had to give the youngster three kilos. There is five-and-a-half kilos between them this time. On weights, it is hard to go past Japonisme. However, Chautauqua is still going to have improvement from his fresh run. Barrier 11 could be an asset. Dwayne Dunn will be able to get him some cover early and then should get a clear passage from the 300m.
SECRET AGENDA is an intriguing runner. She was outstanding winning over 1100m down the straight on a wet oaks day. If any rain came she could bob up.
DELECTATION was fair when resuming in the Lightning. He is suited by the rise to 1200m and should be fitter.
KEEN ARRAY and COUNTERATTACK meet Japonisme two-and-a-half kilos better off for placing behind him over this course and distance in the Coolmore Stud Stakes on derby day. They will need to improve to make the most of the advantage though.
The striking grey gelding is forging a path towards champion sprinter status with some great performances recorded in the 10 wins of his 19 start career. 1st up in the G1 Lightning Stakes, it looked like he would have to settle for 2nd before he found another gear and somehow managed to find the post first. He has now won 3 of the last 4 G1 races he has contested, with the other resulting in a 0.1 length 2nd in the Darley Classic behind Delectation. His Flemington record is 7: 4-3-0, at 1200m is 12:5-6-0 and when 2nd up 5: 2-3-0. He looks hard to beat.
Under the handicap conditions, Delectation meets Chautauqua 2kg better off than he has been meeting him with the last 3 races they have met, they have started off equal weights. In the G2 Gilgai Stakes back in October, Delectation finished a 1 length 2nd behind the grey speed machine. Next outing he turned the tables in the G1 Darley Classic and the latest result in the G1 Lightning when they were both 1st up saw a 2 length gap in favour of Chautauqua. The 1200m trip should suit here, a distance he has won 4 times over and he has a good record when 2nd up.
Another of the Chris Waller trained trio attempting to thwart the Chautauqua offensive, Japonisme lines up for just the 3rd time in Victoria, with all 3 at Flemington. The chestnut gelding has developed a strong record since starting his 3YO season that has seen him take out the G3 San Domenico, finish 3rd in the G2 Roman Consul and round out his spring campaign with a 1 ½ length victory in the G1 Coolmore Stud Stakes against a handy field of 3YOs. He resumed in the G1 Lightning where he finished just 0.2 lengths from the winner after leading them up and he meets the favourite 2kg better off since their last outing.
Making giant leaps at the end of his last campaign his 2015 Spring saw his season finish with a win in the Listed Blue Sapphire Stakes over 1200m at Caulfield and his campaign was rounded out with a 1 ½ length 2nd to Japonisme in the G1 Coolmore Stud Stakes. Trainer David Hayes has stated he has been targeting this race, opting for a lead-up run in the Oakleigh Plate to ensure Keen Array was not over handicapped in this. In the Oakleigh at Caulfield he settled right on the pace before fading slightly to be just on 8 lengths from the winner. The step up to 1200m here looks preferable, he is 1 from 2 when 2nd up and from 3 runs at 1200m is 3: 2-1-0.
The Newmarket Handicap is a Group 1 race held on Australian Cup Day during the Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival. It is programmed alongside other prominent races, such as the Group 1 Australian Cup and the Group 2 VRC Sires Produce Stakes. Held over 1200m down Flemington famour ‘straight six’ course, it features some of the best sprinters from around the country vying for a slice of the $1 million prize money. This race is a favourite of veteran trainer Bart Cummings, who has won the event eight times, (1972, 1973, 1975, 1978, 1979, 1981, 1990, 1991), and jockey Damien Oliver, who has won it three times (1992, 2001, 2005).
Many great horses have participated in the race over the years, including the undefeated Black Caviar (2011), Weekend Hussler (2008), Miss Andretti (2007), Takeover Target (2006), Alinghi (2005), General Nediym (1998), Schillac1 (1992), Special (1988), Placid Ark (1987), Razor Sharp (1982/83), Maybe Mahal (1978), Baguette (1971), Ajax (1938), Aurie’s Star (1937), Gothic (1927/28) and Wakeful (1901). The Group 1 Lightning Stakes and Group 1 Oakleigh Plate are used as lead up races, with Lankan Rupee completing the Oakleigh Plate/Newmarket Handicap double.
|2016||THE QUARTERBACK||CRAIG NEWITT||ROBBIE GRIFFITHS||01:09.2|
|2015||BRAZEN BEAU||JOAO MOREIRA||CHRIS WALLER||01:09.2|
|2014||LANKAN RUPEE||CHAD SCHOFIELD||MICK PRICE||01:09.2|
|2013||SHAMEXPRESS||CRAIG NEWITT||DANNY O’BRIEN||01:08.1|
|2012||HAY LIST||GLYN SCHOFIELD||JOHN MCNAIR||01:08.7|
|2011||BLACK CAVIAR||LUKE NOLEN||PETER MOODY||01:07.3|
|2010||WANTED||LUKE NOLEN||PETER MOODY||01:10.1|
|2009||SCENIC BLAST||STEVE ARNOLD||DANIEL MORTON||01:08.7|
|2008||WEEKEND HUSSLER||BRAD RAWILLER||ROSS MCDONALD||01:08.9|
|2007||MISS ANDRETTI||CRAIG NEWITT||LEE FREEDMAN||01:07.7|
|2006||TAKEOVER TARGET||JAY FORD||JOE JANIAK||01:08.0|