The countdown to the 2012 Newmarket Handicap is nearly over with the nation’s premier sprint event to take place tomorrow as part of Flemington’s Super Saturday of racing.
Hay List remains the clear favourite ($3.20) at bookmaker.com.au and we at Races.com.au think the two time Group 1 winner will be tough to beat over 1200 metres on Saturday.
The John McNair trained gelding has recorded 14 victories from 21 starts but on another five occasions has finished runner up to Black Caviar.
He has won six times over the 1200 metre Newmarket distance and is coming off a second-place finish to Black Caviar in the Coolmore Lightning Stakes.
Rain Affair and Bel Sprinter are sitting as equal second favourites at $6.00 and while we believe that Rain Affair’s hot streak will end tomorrow, he won’t be far off the pace.
The four-year-old has won his last nine races and only a second-place in his second start has spoiled a flawless career record to date.
Coming from the inside barrier, the gelding has the talent to take it Hay List in what will be his first race in Melbourne.
The John O’Shea trained Foxwedge is next back in the bookmaker.com.au betting at $7.50 and Races.com.au team is expecting him to be among the chances on Saturday.
An exciting colt, the son of Fastnet Rock is coming off a fourth-place effort in the Group 1 Coolmore Lightning Stakes and has four wins from 10 starts.
The three-year-old will be ridden by Craig Williams out of barrier 17 and will carry the lightest weight of the race with African Pulse at 50kg.
The likes of Albert the Fat and Buffering provide some value for the punters with both currently paying $21.00 at bookmaker.com.au.
Albert the Fat is a two time Group 1 winner who has amassed over $1.2 million in prize money. The seven-year-old will run from an ideal barrier seven position on Saturday.
The Robert Heathcote trained Buffering will come from the next gate (8) and the four-year-old is coming off an impressive Coolmore Lightning Stakes effort where he finished third behind Black Caviar and Hay List.
Toorak Toff will be looking to make history and become the first horse in 95 years to win the Newmarket first up and also offers some value at $31.00.
Other horses set to run in the 2012 Newmarket Handicap include Lone Rock ($9.00), Beaded ($17.00), Kings Rose ($17.00), Woorim (21.00) and Facile Tiger ($21.00).
2012 Newmarket Handicap Tips
#1 Hay List from #6 Rain Affair and #22 Foxwedge
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