Japonisme has been backed into 2016 Newmarket Handicap odds of $3.70 and the talented three-year-old has been a clear market mover in betting markets for the Group 1 event that will be held at Flemington on Saturday.
Japonisme opened at a quote of $4 when the Newmarket Handicap field was released on Wednesday, but there has been plenty of early money for the Coolmore Stud Stakes winner to deliver trainer Chris Waller a second straight victory in the feature sprint.
Waller said that Japonisme worked with stablemates Delectation and Counterattack at Flemington on Tuesday and the leading Sydney trainer revealed that Japonisme had worked the best of the trio, impressing new jockey Craig Williams in the process.
“He worked probably the best of the three on Tuesday morning,” Waller said.
“He is already a winner at Group 1 level up the straight and he got beaten a head in the Lightning.
“Craig Williams said that he has a better turn-of-speed than Brazen Beau, but that is jockeys for you.
“There is no use having a turn-of-foot if you can sustain it for 600 metres and that is what Brazen Beau could do.
“The test is can Japonisme emulate what Brazen Beau did last year and it is a great race.”
Chautauqua remains on top of 2016 Newmarket Handicap betting markets despite the move for Japonisme, but he is now out to $2.50 to record his second straight victory at the highest level of racing.
The son of Encosta De Lago got his nose in front at the right time in the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (1000m), but he has previously been beaten at Group 1 level on three occasions over 1200 metres at Flemington.
The only other horse that is available at single figure Newmarket Handicap odds is Delectation, who has gone from $9 out to $9.50 since betting opened earlier in the week.
Delectation upstaged Chautauqua and Terravista to win the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) during the 2015 Spring Racing Carnival and his performance in the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes was better than it looks on paper.
The Waller trio is rounded out by Counterattack, who has been backed from $12 into $10 to record his maiden win at Group 1 level.
There has been a sprinkling of support in the 2016 Newmarket Handicap betting market with Ladbrokes for Keen Array (19 into $15) and Secret Agenda ($19 into $14), while Tiger Tees ($40 out to $101), Black Heart Bart ($15 out to $18), Charmed Harmony ($81 out to $126) and The Quarterback ($17 out to $20) have all been on the drift.