The first acceptors for the $1 million Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m), one of the marquee events at Flemington’s Super Saturday of Racing on March 12, have been released with 44 sprinters still in contention.
The number of horses heading towards a spot in the 2011 Newmarket Handicap field has been cut from 74 at nominations stage, the number of first acceptors the highest in five years.
After not having been paid up for the 2011 Australian Guineas at first declaration stage yesterday, Star Witness is instead being saved for the shorter autumn features including the Newmarket.
Trainer Danny O’Brien believed that after Star Witness was defeated by three and a half lengths first-up in the Listed Manfred Stakes (1300m), opting to test the dual Group 1 winning colt over the mile of the Guineas on March 5 was not the best option.
Instead Star Witness faces a possible clash with Australia’s sprint star Black Caviar in the Newmarket.
Peter Moody’s unbeaten mare Black Caviar, arguably the speediest racehorse in the world after recently being crowned the World Champion sprinter, is out to extend her impressive winning streak to nine straight this Saturday when she resumes in the Group 1 Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington.
Black Caviar is the clear favourite in the pre-post Newmarket Handicap odds paying around $2.20 in the market.
Hay List is the second favourite sitting at a much longer quote of about $9 to upset the queen.
Consistent Statue Of Liberty gelding Hay List will first face off against Black Caviar in the Lightning Stakes before the Newmarket showdown.
Black Caviar is one of nine Newmarket Handicap first acceptors for top Victorian trainer Moody who has a stranglehold over the race.
The other top-line entries among Moody’s Newmarket contingent are Doubtful Jack, Hinchinbrook, Master Harry and Reward For Effort.
Other exciting prospects in the 2011 Newmarket Handicap first declarations include:
- Beaded (Peter Snowden) – Classy Lonhro mare who won the Group 3 Hyderabad Race Club Stakes (1200m) first-up on February 12 and is also a multiple Group 1 placegetter
- Undeniably (Mark Kavangh) – Lightly-raced Fastnet Rock four-year-old who ran an eye-catching second just beaten on the line in the Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on January 28
- Catapulted (Mark Kavanagh) – Consistent Catbird gelding who won the Group 3 Rubition Stakes (1100m) in fine style at Caulfield on February 12, Group 1 runner-up in South Australia
- Crystal Lily (Matthew Ellerton & Simon Zahra) – Last year’s Golden Slipper winning filly, looking to return to form first-up in the Lightning Stakes this Saturday against Black Caviar
- Whitefriars (Rick Worthington) – In-form Sydney galloper claimed a narrow win in the Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m) first up this season after a successful spring
- Ortensia (Tony Noonan) – Testa Rossa mare ran an eye-catching third in the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m) behind Typhoon Tracy last start
- Decision Time (Clarry Conners) – Really impressive three-year-old tipped for big things this season, yet to resume after winning the Group 2 Stan Fox Stakes (1400m) last start in September
- King Pulse (Michael Moroney) – Last year’s Newmarket Handicap fourth placegetter who was badly injured in the hailstorm after that run in March, back in the Lightning Stakes and that will be the test to see whether they still have Group 1 claims
Betting on the 2011 Newmarket Handicap will reopen with the updated odds following first declarations at Luxbet shortly.
The final field of Newmarket Handicap starters will be released on Wednesday March 9 and published here at Races.com.au along with the race form guide and our exclusive Newmarket betting tips.
To back the Newmarket Handicap hopefuls in the Lightning Stakes this weekend and to get in on the generous early Newmarket futures odds, visit Luxbet now!
2011 Lexus Newmarket Handicap First Acceptances
|1||AHDASHIM (NZ)||Gerald Ryan||100|
|2||AVENUE||Peter G Moody||106|
|5||BLACK CAVIAR||Peter G Moody||118|
|6||CAPTAIN COLTISH||Peter G Moody||98|
|9||CRYSTAL LILY||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||107|
|10||DECISION TIME||Clarry Conners||100|
|11||DOUBTFUL JACK||Peter G Moody||106|
|12||EAGLE FALLS||David Hayes||107|
|13||FIRST COMMAND||Lee Freedman||108|
|14||GRAND DUELS||Byron Cozamanis||108|
|15||HAY LIST||John McNair||115|
|16||HINCHINBROOK||Peter G Moody||91|
|18||KEANO (NZ)||Danny O’Brien||96|
|19||KING PULSE||Michael Moroney||99|
|20||MARQUARDT (NZ)||John P Thompson||95|
|21||MASTER HARRY||Peter G Moody||74|
|23||PANIPIQUE||Peter G Moody||88|
|25||POTIONS||John P Thompson||65|
|26||QUICK PEEK||Anthony Cummings||75|
|27||RESPONSE||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||107|
|28||REWARD FOR EFFORT||Peter G Moody||105|
|29||SARGE IN CHARGE (NZ)||Liam Birchley||77|
|30||SET FOR FAME||Peter G Moody||107|
|33||SISTER MADLY||Anthony Cummings||102|
|34||SMOKIN’ JOEY||Lee Freedman||76|
|36||SO ANYWAY||John P Thompson||91|
|37||STAR WITNESS||Danny O’Brien||113|
|38||STIRLING GROVE||Richard Jolly||94|
|42||VOILE ROUGE (NZ)||David Hayes||86|
|43||WE’RE GONNA ROCK||Mark Kavanagh||95|