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Queenslanders In Line for Newmarket Raid

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Perth stars Barakey and Luckygray have attracted plenty of attention but the $1 million Newmarket Handicap (1200m) could be in for an interstate raid of a different kind.

Better Than Ready could be one of four Queenslanders in the Newmarket Handicap. Photo by: Daniel Costello.

Four Queenslanders remain in contention to run in the Group 1 sprint at Flemington on Saturday week and all bring strong credentials with them.

The quartet contains Facile TigreSpirit Of Boom and Woorim who have already proven themselves up to class in Melbourne as well as raw but exciting colt Better Than Ready.

If Facile Tigre and Spirit Of Boom make it to the start line in the prestigious sprint they will be running second-up after filling the minor placings behind Mrs Onassis in the Oakleigh Plate on Saturday.

It was the second consecutive Oakleigh Plate minor placing for Facile Tigre who was third to Woorim last year.

Spirit Of Boom received the highest rating in the race for his fast-finishing third and was a consistent performer during the spring with minor placings in the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes, the Group 2 Yellowglen Stakes and the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes in Perth.

The big stallion has been allocated 55kg, 0.5kg more than Facile Tigre (54.5kg) and 1.5kg less than Woorim (56.5kg).

Woorim finished fifth in the Newmarket last year and is expected to take plenty of improvement out of his disappointing last-place Oakleigh Plate finish in what was his first hit-out since May.

Travelling to Victoria to make his Melbourne debut is Better Than Ready who has generated excitement withing the racing community early in his career.

The three-year-old has won five of eight starts and earned his place in the Newmarket with a dominant three-length win in the Listed Falvelon Handicap (1200m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

The Kelly Schweida-trained speedster will carry just 50.5kg in the Newmarket, 7.5kg less than topweight Luckygray (58kg).

Better Than Ready has always shown talent but made himself known as a classy galloper of the future in October when breaking the Randwick 1200m track record to win the Listed Brian Crowley Stakes.

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