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She may be an unlikely acceptor, but the bookies are taking no chances with supermare Black Caviar who has opened clear-cut favourite in the futures markets for the 2012 Newmarket Handicap at Flemington in March.
Nominations for the $1 million Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m), running on March 10, were taken last month with 72 entries for the Australian Cup Day sprint.
Now our No. 1 recommended online bookmaker Luxbet have released their all-in futures markets for the race, undefeated turf queen Black Caviar unsurprisingly opening at the top of the Newmarket Handicap odds paying $2.50.
The defending champ, however, is a doubtful runner in the race due to the hefty weight allocation she would receive from the handicappers of 60kg or above.
With Black Caviar out of the Newmarket Handicap field and betting markets, it would be John McNair’s hulking galloper Hay List who secures favouritism.
Hay List currently occupies the second line of Newmarket Handicap betting at Luxbet paying $4.
Last seen running a brave second to Black Caviar in the Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m) at Doomben back in May, Statue Of Liberty six-year-old Hay List is set to resume racing shortly after a lengthy injury-enforced spell.
His first-up run is penciled in as the $750,000 Group 1 Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington on March 18 and all reports from camp Hay List are that the dual elite level hero is fighting fit and ready to get back into it.
Just two other Newmarket Handicap hopefuls are currently under $10 in the futures markets at Luxbet with John Sadler’s smart local Redoute’s Choice mare Sister Madly ($7) and the Paul Messara-trained Ortensia ($8) who was last seen winning the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) in Perth.
Other notable chances that could firm in the coming weeks include class colt Foxwedge ($10 Luxbet) from the Sydney stables of John O’Shea who went down just a long-neck to Sepoy in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes on Derby Day, super-consistent Bel Esprit four-year-old Bel Sprinter ($11 Luxbet) who resumes at Caulfield this Saturday and the Joe Pride’s emerging Commands gelding Rain Affair ($12 Luxbet).
Rain Affair resumed after a five month spell, before which they won six on the trot in Sydney, to take out the Listed Carrington Stakes (1100m) at Warwick Farm on January 2.
They are being tipped for big things this autumn, Pride saying they were going to be full of improvement heading into their second-up assignment in the $200,000 Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill Saturday week.
“He only beat Jest Crewsin’ by a length or so in the Carrington Stakes but I think he is suspect first-up, he really is,” Pride said.
“If he was going to get beat all preparation that was probably the most dangerous run.
“I worry about him more fresh than I will in two or three starts when he is in Group 1 races.
“He just improves out of sight.
“He got beat first-up last preparation and just got better and better and better and that is what he will do this time in.
“It is scary to think he can get better.”
Newmarket Handicap first acceptances are due to be taken on February 21 followed by the release of the final field on March 7.
See below for the latest Newmarket Handicap odds available on your early favourites that you can lock in right now at Luxbet.
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