The 2015 Newmarket Handicap weights have been released and Lankan Rupee will carry the top-weight of 58.5 kilograms in the Group 1 event at Flemington next Saturday.
Lankan Rupee carried 56.5 kilograms when he scored a dominant win over Spirit Of Boom and Knoydart in the 2014 Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m), but he will need to equal Hay List’s metric weight carrying record set in 2012 in order to become the first horse since Razor Sharp in 1983 to win the race in back-to-back years.
Terravista will carry the second top weight of 56.5 kilograms in the Newmarket Handicap and will be attempting to become the first horse since Polycrates in 1917 to win the Group 1 event first-up.
The Captain Rio gelding stamped himself as a one of the best sprinters in the world when he beat Chautauqua and Lankan Rupee at equal weights in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington last year and he beat a strong field to win a barrier trial over 800 metres at Warwick Farm on February 27.
Chautauqua finished a close second behind Terravista in the Darley Classic and he will carry 55.5 kilograms when he attempts to turn-the-tables on his rival in the Newmarket Handicap.
The son of Encosta De Lago will have a fitness edge over Terravista after he returned to racing with a strong win in the Group 2 Rubiton Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on February 14 and Team Hawkes are hopeful that the four-year-old can deliver them a maiden win in the Newmarket Handicap.
Three-year-olds have an excellent record in the Newmarket Handicap and Chris Waller-trained Brazen Beau appears the most likely to join the stellar list of three-year-old winners after he was allocated just 52 kilograms by Racing Victoria handicappers.
Brazen Beau was sent to the spelling paddock after he recorded a strong win in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at the end of the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival and he returned to racing with a credible second behind Lankan Rupee in the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington on February 21.
Other horses that have been allocated 52 kilograms include Group 1 winning mare Driefontein, talented sprinter Vain Queen, the Peter Moody-trained duo of A Time For Julia and Flamberge, Perth galloper Watermans Bay, Oakleigh Plate placegetter Fast ‘N’ Rocking, Lionel Cohen-trained Aeronautical and Oakleigh Plate runners Atmospherical, Iconic and Lord Of The Sky.
Earthquake, Eloping, Delectation, Nostradamus, Armada and Sistonic will all get into the Newmarket Handicap on the minimum weight of 50 kilograms, but are no certainties to contest the race.