2017 Newmarket Handicap weights have been released and it is multiple Group 1 champion Chautauqua who has been charged with carrying a topweight of 58kgs, should Team Hawkes elect to contest the race.
Chautauqua has been a standout performer since he made his racing debut in the spring of 2013 and has subsequently posted a commendable twelve wins and nine minors through his twenty-five career starts; highlighted by five Group 1 crowns.
The Encosta De Lago gelding resumed in 2016 for an impressive win in the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (1000m), but was unable to make up the distance on The Quarterback when third in the Newmarket Handicap, with 58kgs in tow.
Having returned to winning form in the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) before taking out the Group 1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize (1200m) in Hong Kong on May 1st, Chautauqua failed to come up in spring and was sent for a spell following a lacklustre performance for seventh in the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m).
Chautauqua clearly lacked his once unbeatable turn of foot when he returned to the races for third in the Group 2 Rubiton Stakes (1100m) on February 11th and connections could elect to saddle the six-year-old in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Randwick this weekend.
Terravista returned to the races for a smart win in the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes and will carry 56.5kgs in the Newmarket Handicap, should he accept into the race field.
Terravista posted a maiden win at the highest level in the 2014 edition of the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) and has amounted a career total of eleven wins and six minors, through his twenty-five appearances.
Reigning Newmarket Handicap champion The Quarterback carried 52kgs to success in 2016, but will have to overcome a still-manageable 54.5kgs in his title defence.
The Quarterback became fractious in the gates prior to the running of the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes and was scratched from the race after suffering minor injuries.
The Street Boss gelding will subsequently contest the Newmarket Handicap as a first point of call in 2017, but is a proven fresh performer, having stormed home to win the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) down the Flemington straight upon resuming in spring.
Mick Price is set to saddle two legitimate chances of success and three-year-olds Extreme Choice and Flying Artie are treated particularly well in the 2017 Newmarket Handicap weights at only 52.5kgs.
Extreme Choice won the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) in autumn last year, before resuming in spring for a dominant win amongst open company in the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1000m).
Flying Artie capped an impressive 2016 campaign with a smart win in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) on the Flemington straight in November, but failed to produce much when seventh in the Lightning Stakes first-up this time.
Black Caviar Lightning Stakes placegetters Spieth and Star Turn have been allocated 55kgs and 52kgs respectively in 2017 Newmarket Handicap weights.
2017 Newmarket Handicap Weights
|#||Last 10||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Ballot||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||x1311x47x3||CHAUTAUQUA||G||6||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||1||58kg||116|
|3||7x421152x1||SHEIDEL||M||5||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||3||53.5kg||111|
|5||1118x15x3||EXTREME CHOICE||C||3||Mick Price||5||52.5kg||110|
|6||2x123x11x7||FLYING ARTIE||C||3||Mick Price||6||52.5kg||110|
|7||x0111x12x2||SPIETH (NZ)||H||4||Bryce Heys||7||55kg||110|
|8||256x1213x3||STAR TURN||C||3||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||8||52kg||109|
|9||61539x146x||THE QUARTERBACK||G||6||Robbie Griffiths||9||54.5kg||109|
|10||2156x323x6||FELL SWOOP||G||5||Matthew Dale||10||54kg||108|
|11||212311210x||VOODOO LAD||G||5||Darren Weir||11||53.5kg||107|
|12||x154231x27||I AM A STAR (NZ)||F||3||Shane Nichols||12||50kg||105|
|14||121x1212x5||ILLUSTRIOUS LAD||G||5||Peter Gelagotis||14||52.5kg||105|
|15||242x256Px1||TARGET IN SIGHT||G||7||Joseph Pride||15||52.5kg||105|
|16||5x16225x72||FAATINAH||G||4||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||16||52kg||103|
|17||1536x143x1||SUPER CASH||M||4||Andrew Noblet||17||52kg||103|
|19||x6025x7542||BIG MONEY||G||7||Rodney Northam||19||52kg||102|
|20||0x11134x31||HEY DOC||G||3||Tony McEvoy||20||50kg||100|
|22||5120x5x21x||REDKIRK WARRIOR (GB)||G||6||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||22||52kg||100|
|24||L0x55402x5||MISS PROMISCUITY||M||6||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||24||52kg||99|
|25||62x600x211||DAL CIELO (NZ)||G||4||Kris Lees||25||52kg||93|
|26||11x477x250||EL DIVINO||C||3||Darren Weir||26||50kg||89|
|29||6x1x14x320||GUARD OF HONOUR||C||3||Kris Lees||29||50kg||79|
|31||136||VILLA ROSA||F||3||Ciaron Maher||31||50kg||64|