Newcastle’s premier race meet during the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival will take place this Thursday March 17, a bumper day’s racing headlined by the $125,000 Group 3 Newcastle Newmarket Handicap (1400m).
Scheduled to run as Newcastle Race 7 on Thursday, the 2011 Newcastle Newmarket Handicap final field features 13 quality gallopers prepared by Sydney’s best trainers.The top-rated and weighted entry in this year’s race is the Gai Waterhouse-trained Herculian Prince.
Winner of last year’s Group 1 Metropolitan Handicap (2400m) at Randwick on October 2, Yamanin Vital gelding Herculian Prince is first-up for the season on Thursday.
Following his upset win in the Metropolitan during the spring, Herculian Prince failed to find the same form at his last two starts finishing ninth to stablemate Descarado in the 2010 Caulfield Cup and then coming in 28 lengths away from Maluckyday in the Group 3 The Lexus Stakes (2500m) at Flemington on Derby Day.
Despite being a Group 1 winner, Herculian Prince faces a tough test in the Newcastle Newmarket Handicap set to carry 59.5kg and suffering a nasty blow drawing the far outside barrier 13.
The next heaviest weighted runner in the Newcastle Handicap field is Brilliant Light with 56kg who ran second to Walking Or Dancing in the 2010 Newcastle Newmarket Handicap 12 months ago carrying 53kg.
Other horses that have drawn poorly for Thursday’s showdown along with Herculian Prince are Bart Cummings’s Queensland Derby winner Empires Choice (barrier 12) and the Anthony Cummings-trained Trader (barrier 11).
Other Notable 2011 Newcastle Newmarket Handicap Acceptors Include:
- Snow Alert (Chris Waller) – Red Ransom five-year-old resumed with a sixth place finish in the Listed Tattersalls Club Cup (2000m) at Randwick where they pulled up lame after the race, reportedly back to full fitness
- Ahdashim (Gerald Ryan) – Resumed with a win in the Group 3 Standish Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on New Years’ Day before finishing fourth in the Southern Cross Stakes and most recently fifth to Triple Elegance in the Liverpool City Cup
- So Anyway (John P Thompson) – Improving General Nediym mare coming off a fourth place finish to Red Flair in the Group 3 Mannerism Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield, drops back 3.5kg in the weights here and drawn ideally in barrier four
- Glintz (John O’Shea) – Lightly-raced Pins four-year-old in great form, winner of four of their nine career starts to date, having just their second black-type start having run a close second to Thankgodyou’rehere in the Group 3 Hawkesbury Gold Cup (1600m) during the spring
Betting markets for the 2011 Newcastle Newmarket Handicap will open at our preferred online bookmaker Luxbet shortly.
To get access to the best Newcastle horse racing odds for this Thursday and to enjoy the generous early odds for the upcoming Group 1 features such as the 2011 Golden Slipper, make sure you have an account open with Luxbet.
2011 Newcastle Newmarket Handicap Final Field & Barrier Draw
|#||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight (kg)||Hcp. Rating|
|1||HERCULIAN PRINCE (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||Nash Rawiller||13||59.5||109|
|2||BRILLIANT LIGHT||Kerry Parker||Tim Clark||8||56||102|
|3||EMPIRES CHOICE (NZ)||Bart Cummings||Hugh Bowman||12||55.5||101|
|4||SNOW ALERT||Chris Waller||–||10||55.5||101|
|5||AHDASHIM (NZ)||Gerald Ryan||Kerrin McEvoy||9||55||100|
|6||ALTERED BOY||Chris Waller||–||5||53.5||97|
|7||HIDDEN WONDER||Kris Lees||–||1||53||97|
|8||TRADER||Anthony Cummings||Corey Brown||11||53||95|
|9||KEEPIN’ THE DREAM (NZ)||Jim & Greg Lee||Peter Wells||7||53||93|
|10||PURRPURRLENA||Grahame Begg||Brenton Avdulla||2||53||93|
|11||SO ANYWAY||John P Thompson||Jim Byrne||4||53||91|
|12||COUSIN WAL (NZ)||David Hughes||–||3||53||82|
|13||GLINTZ (NZ)||John O’Shea||Christian Reith||6||53||80|
Photo courtesy (c) Steve Hart Photographics