The 2017 Newmarket Handicap Form Guide is essential reading for punters ahead of the featured sprint at Flemington Racecourse on Saturday afternoon.
Some of the world’s best sprinters have been confirmed amongst a Newmarket Handicap field of thirteen and we have analysed every horse in detail, in order for you to find the 2017 Newmarket Handicap winner.
There is several previous winners at the highest level set to take a position in the Newmarket Handicap field, as well as a number of contenders that appear on the verge of breaking through.
Terravista carries winning form into the Newmarket Handicap, but will have to overcome some reasonably dire topweight statistics if he is to post a third career Group 1 triumph in the race. The Captain Rio gelding won the 2014 edition of the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) on the Flemington straight and was a consistent performer at the highest level through each of his subsequent preparations. Having resumed for an impressive last-gasp win in the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (1000m) three weeks ago, Terravista will relish a return to 1200m and is drawn well in barrier 12 to find an early position off pace.
Spieth’s two most-recent runs have been outstanding and he is another horse that should prove extremely tough to beat upon returning to 1200m this weekend. The Thorn Park entire resumed in spring for a smart win in the Listed The Lightning (1100m) at Randwick before finishing an agonizingly close second to Malaguerra in the Darley Classic. Having again lunged late to finish second in the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes first-up this time, Spieth is weighted well at 55.5kgs and has the notable advantage of Hugh Bowman in the saddle.
Reigning champion The Quarterback carried 52kgs to success last year, but still should find no issue in performing to a high standard with 55kgs in tow on Saturday. The son of Street Boss has displayed a keen affiliation with straight track racing, as well as the big Flemington course, throughout his entire career and should once again relish the conditions on Saturday. There is something of a query over The Quarterback’s ability to win the Newmarket Handicap after he was involved in a nasty incident in the barriers prior to the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes, in which he was caught upside down in the stalls.
Sheidel has been a strong and consistent performer for Lindsay Park throughout the last 12 months and should prove extremely tough to beat in the Newmarket Handicap following a smart first-up win in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m). A former Perth galloper, Sheidel has posted an exceptional fifteen race wins and six minors through only twenty-seven competitive starts. The Holy Roman Emperor mare will carry only 54kgs and should receive a gem of a ride from champion hoop Damien Oliver.
Voodoo Lad is considered an outsider in Newmarket Handicap betting markets, but the sprinter is a proven first-up performer and is prepared by leading Victorian trainer Darren Weir, who saddled Black Heart Bart to a close second in last year’s Newmarket first-up. The I Am Invincible was a standout performer in spring; posting wins in each of the Listed Regal Roller Stakes (1200m), Listed Fruit Supply Stakes (1200m) and Group 3 Moonga Stakes (1400m) and finishing second in the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) most notably.
Extreme Choice only came into Newmarket Handicap calculations after stable mate Flying Artie was scratched, but the three-year-old is undoubtedly one of the field’s class horses and is a live chance of winning the race. Winner of the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) and Group 1 Moir Stakes (1000m) in 2016, the Not A Single Doubt colt resumed for third in the Oakleigh Plate a fortnight ago and is set to fly home late on Saturday from a wide draw, with Joao Moreira aboard.
Illustrious Lad has been set for the Newmarket Handicap and gets into the race well under the conditions. Illustrious Lad stormed home to win the Group 2 Salinger Stakes (1200m) on the Flemington straight on Derby Day and ended his 2016 campaign second to multiple Group 1 winner Lucky Hussler in the Group 3 Kevin Heffernan Stakes (1300m). He is sure to have taken plenty of benefit from a first-up run for fifth in the Lightning Stakes and should have no issue in finding the early pace from an inside draw.
Tivaci has continued to furnish into a serious racehorse through recent preparations, but he could find the talent-rich 2017 Newmarket Handicap field a bridge too far at this point of his career. Tivaci placed third in each of the Group 1 Toorak Handicap and Group 1 Cantala Stakes, both over a mile in spring and resumed for a smart win in the Listed Kensington Stakes (1000m) on January 28th; a race in which The Quarterback finished third leading into his Newmarket Handicap triumph in 2016.
Star Turn faded late to finish third in the Lightning Stakes first-up, but colt has reportedly taken plenty of benefit from the hit-out ahead of the Newmarket Handicap. The son of Star Witness failed to finish outside the first three in spring; winning both the Group 3 San Domenico Stakes (1100m) and Group 2 Schillaci Stakes (1100m) most notably and ending his year third in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m). Glen Boss will take the ride at 52.5kgs.
Super Cash has form around some of the country’s most in-form horses and is a legitimate lightweight chance in the Newmarket Handicap. A proven performer on the straight track, Super Cash was a strong and consistent performer for Andrew Noblet in 2016 and resumed for her best win to date in the Group 2 Rubiton Stakes (1100m) on February 11th; beating home the likes of I Am A Star and Chautauqua. The mare is a serious chance of deliver Noblet and jockey Ben Allen their first Group 1 titles.
Plenty of hype has surrounded Counterattack’s entire racing career but so far, he has probably failed to quite live up to the mark. The Redoute’s Choice entire capped his 2016 campaign second behind Illustrious Lad in the Salinger Stakes, but managed to beat only one horse home in the Lightning Stakes first-up.
A former Hong Kong galloper, Redkirk Warrior posted strong results upon debuting to Australian in spring, but is another horse that could find this field too sharp first-up. Running second at Moonee Valley first-up in October, the Notnowcato gelding was last seen winning the Group 3 Sandown Stakes (1500m) on November 12th.
Inspector is the rank outsider of the Newmarket Handicap field and it would take a career-best performance to go close. The California Dane gelding ran third in the Group 3 Standish Handicap (1200m) on January 1st and has since placed fifth in the Singapore Turf Club Trophy (1200m) and fourth in the Group 3 TAB Rewards Stakes (1400m).