Jockey Craig Newitt scored his second Lexus Newmarket Handicap victory with a last stride win on Shamexpress in the Group 1 $1m 1200m sprint down the Flemington straight today.
In a race that has been dominated but highly weighted horses over the last few years, Shamexpress was able to grab favourite Moment Of Change right on the line to score an upset win.
Sydney four year old Aeronautical and Undeniably put plenty of value into the multiples finishing third and fourth.
Newitt, who won the 2007 Newmarket on Miss Andretti, was happy to sit off the pace when Moment Of Change was forced into the pace maker role and looked the likely winner after skipping clear at the 400m, but Shamexpress was able to gather momentum down the middle of the track to gain victory.
“I come here today pretty confident he would run extremely well,” Newitt said.
“He was the forgotten horse really cause his trial here on Tuesday was there for everyone to see.”
“He went equally if not better than the other three year old, he was all the talk but I knew my bloke would launch and that was exactly what he did.”
Queensland three year old Better Than Ready started the second favourite but after Craig Williams asked for a final effort at the 300m, he faded to miss a place.
Winning trainer Danny O’Brien was happy to forgive Shamexpress’ last start failure in the Group 1 $500,000 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) at Flemington on February 16 behind Black Caviar and was expecting the O’Reilly colt to be competitive.
“It’s been a long range plan since Coolmore day. He’s come here in great shape and we got the right ride today,” O’Brien said.
“He was too close the other day and Craig just produced him beautifully today and he really let go like a top class Group 1 sprinter.”
“That’s the secret, just to get a little bit of cover on him early. He wanted to charge early but fortunately he buried him and when he did see the daylight he really let go.”
Shamexpress started at the good odds of $15, beating the $3.20 favouirte Moment Of Change by a short half head with a similar margin to Aeronautical ($81) in third place, with $41 chance Undeniably three lengths away in fourth spot.
The Kelly Schweida trained Better Than Ready was well supported to start $4.20 and wound up in fifth position.