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Despite having been sent out for a break and a likely non-acceptor, Black Caviar has still been installed as the 2012 Newmarket Handicap top-weight with weights for the famous Flemington feature released by Racing Victoria today.
Due to run on Saturday March 10 the $1 million Group 1 Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) currently has 39 entries with undefeated turf queen Black Caviar copping 61.5kg in the weights.
But Peter Moody’s champ will not be there to defend her title, Black Caviar having scored an incredible three length win over the ill-fated Crystal Lily when carrying 58kg to victory in last year’s Newmarket, despite her master trainer officially keeping her in the mix.
“We offered Peter Moody the opportunity to withdraw Black Caviar prior to today’s release of weights, but he preferred to keep her within the race entries at this time,” Racing Victoria Senior Handicapper Neil Jennings said.
“Whilst it is highly unlikely she will take her place in the field as a first acceptor I’m obliged to allocate her a weight and thus connections have a week to decide if they change their minds.
“Her weight of 62.5kg represents a penalty of 3.5kgs for her victory in record time in last year’s Newmarket Handicap, since which she’s won a further nine races, six of those at Group 1 level.”
Moody’s hopes of back-to-back Newmarket Handicap wins more likely lie with his four remaining nominees King’s Rose (54.5kg), Curtana (52kg), Kulgrinda (52kg) and Master Harry (52kg).
Last year’s Emirates Stakes runner-up King’s Rose on $21 is the shortest-priced of the quartet in the latest Newmarket Handicap betting markets at our preferred online bookie Luxbet.
With Black Caviar out her perennial whipping boy Hay List becomes the new heaviest weighted horse in the Newmarket handicaps with 58.5kg.
The John McNair-trained Hay List resumed after a lengthy injury-enforced spell to run second to the ‘Black Flash’ in the Lightning Stakes at Flemington on February 18 with 58.5kg on his back.
Hay List, however, is also an unlikely Newmarket Handicap acceptor due to the weight with McNair to advise connections not to run him with that much second-up.
“I can only advise the horse’s owners, and the decision in the end will be Terry Davenport’s,” McNair said on Monday.
“I’m not going to risk the horse having a gutbuster second-up from a spell and put the whole preparation at stakes if he simply can’t win.”
If connections opt to test Hay List in the Newmarket, he would face a record-breaking assignment to win with Gold Stakes on 60kg back in 1959 the last horse to carry 58.5kg or more to victory in the race.
“The weight allocation to Hay List represents a challenge, but he boasts an outstanding record and it is reflective of his standing as arguably the second best sprinter in the world,” Jennings explained.
“He was given 56.5kg in last year’s Newmarket Handicap, but was scratched after final acceptances.
“In five starts since he’s won the Group 1 All Aged, Group 2 Challenge Stakes and been runner-up to Black Caviar in three Group 1 races.
“His receives a 5kg turnaround from Black Caviar for his defeat in the Coolmore Lightning Stakes and concedes third placed Buffering, whom he defeated by two lengths, some 4kg.”
The gallant Gosford galloper still leads the current 2012 Newmarket Handicap odds at Luxbet paying $3, Rob Heathcote’s Brisbane raider Buffering (54.5kg) further down the markets at $15.
The two next heaviest-weighted of the Newmarket hopefuls are then Emirates Stakes winner Albert The Fat (56.5kg) and the Rick Hore-Lacy-trained Toorak Toff (56kg) who are paying $21 and $41 respectively in the Newmarket Handicap markets at Luxbet.
Along with Hay List there are four other early chances under double-figures in the Newmarket Handicap odds at Luxbet including Bel Sprinter at $4.60.
Weighted 2.5kg over the 50kg minimum with 52.5kg, Jason Warren’s ultra-consistent Bel Esprit four-year-old suffered their biggest defeat when stepping up to elite level company for the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield last Saturday.
After previously winning five of their six career starts, Bel Sprinter could only manage to finish one and a half lengths away sixth behind the winner Woorim in an Oakleigh Plate bursting with hard luck stories.
Woorim, also prepared by Buffering’s trainer Heathcote, is still in Newmaket Handicap contention too as a $13 chance on 55.5kg.
The other single-figure hopes are then the John O’Shea-trained Foxwedge ($6 Luxbet) coming off a Lightning Stakes fourth, Joe Pride’s excitement machine Rain Affair ($7 Luxbet) and the Robert Smerdon-trained Fasnet Rock mare Lone Rock ($7.50 Luxbet).
This trio are all eye-catchers with Foxwedge a nice chance on the 50kg minimum, Lone Rock (53kg) set for improvement and Rain Affair (55.5kg) having raced away to win number 10 from 11 putting 2.5 lengths on Shoot Out in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill last Saturday from barrier 12 of 13 carrying 59kg.
Hay List’s trainer McNair named three-year-old Foxwedge, who was narrowly defeated by Sepoy in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) during the Melbourne Cup Carnival, as the best-weighted chance in the Newmarket.
“Foxwedge is the one,” McNair said.
“He was only just beaten by Sepoy in the spring, and could get in on the limit.”
History certainly is in Foxwedge’s favour as a three-year-old, this age group winning an impressive nine of the past 20 Newmarket Handicaps including Schillaci (1992), General Nediym (1998), Exceed And Excel (2004), Alinghi (2005) and Weekend Hussler (2008) whom all had at least 53.5kg on their back to do so.
The 2012 Newmarket Handicap final field of acceptances is due to be released next Wednesday, March 7, Races.com.au to publish the full field and barriers.
Now is the perfect time to get behind your Newmarket Handicap hopefuls at the hottest early odds by signing up with Luxbet, and if you are a first-time depositing customer that quotes the codeword [luxbecode] you are also eligible for a $400 bonus bet!
2012 Newmarket Handicap Weights & First Acceptances
|1||BLACK CAVIAR||Peter G Moody||1||61.5kg||130|
|2||HAY LIST||John McNair||2||58.5kg||116|
|3||ALBERT THE FAT||Chris Waller||5||56.5kg||112|
|4||TOORAK TOFF||Rick Hore-Lacy||7||56kg||111|
|6||EAGLE FALLS||David Hayes||8||55.5kg||110|
|8||RAIN AFFAIR||Joseph Pride||12||55.5kg||110|
|9||REKINDLED INTEREST||Jim Conlan||11||55.5kg||110|
|11||SECRET ADMIRER||Grahame Begg||4||55kg||113|
|13||KING’S ROSE (NZ)||Peter G Moody||6||54.5kg||112|
|14||TEMPLE OF BOOM||Tony Gollan||15||54.5kg||108|
|15||GRAND NIRVANA||Fred Kersley||16||54kg||107|
|16||WARATAH’S SECRET||Jim P Taylor||17||53.5kg||106|
|17||LONE ROCK||Robert Smerdon||13||53kg||109|
|18||BEL SPRINTER||Jason Warren||20||52.5kg||104|
|19||FACILE TIGRE||Jason McLachlan||19||52.5kg||104|
|20||ROCK CLASSIC||Bart Cummings||18||52.5kg||104|
|21||CURTANA||Peter G Moody||24||52kg||101|
|22||KULGRINDA||Peter G Moody||25||52kg||99|
|23||LIKE AN EAGLE||Ross & Clint Price||28||52kg||97|
|25||MASTER HARRY||Peter G Moody||30||52kg||96|
|26||MASTER OF DESIGN||David Payne||22||52kg||102|
|27||METALLURGICAL||John P Thompson||31||52kg||95|
|28||MR CHARD||Dean Lawson||27||52kg||97|
|29||PHELAN READY||Jason McLachlan||23||52kg||102|
|30||SHOCK VALUE||David Hayes||29||52kg||97|
|31||STIRLING GROVE||Richard Jolly||26||52kg||98|
|32||AFRICAN PULSE||Michael Moroney||34||50kg||91|
|33||CELEBRITY GIRL||Mark Kavanagh||32=||50kg||94|
|35||EMERALD DOWNS||Anthony Cummings||37||50kg||76|
|37||MISS STELLABELLE||Mark Kavanagh||35||50kg||86|
|39||UNIQUE QUALITY||Frankie Stockdale||38||50kg||72|
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