Australia’s two premier sprinters Black Caviar and Hay List could renew their deep-seated in a scintillating Melbourne Festival of Racing showdown with both superstars among 65 nominations taken for the 2013 Newmarket Handicap.
One of the feature showdowns on Australian Cup Day at Flemington, Saturday March 9, the $1 million Group 1 Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) could be the sprint race of the year with the world’s best mare Black Caviar and her arch nemesis Hay List heading the early entries taken this week.
Peter Moody’s undefeated turf queen Black Caviar, last seen winning her international debut in the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot back in June, showed she was on track for her return to racing with a nice jumpout at Sandown on Tuesday morning.
She is scheduled to go first-up in the $700,000 Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington on March 2, a race she has won for the past two years running, before tacking the Newmarket Handicap second-up.
Last autumn Black Caviar blew her competition away in both Melbourne sprints back in 2011 beating Hay list in the Lightning by 3.5 lengths and then Crystal Lily in the Newmarket, setting a metric weight carrying record with 58kg on her back, by a similar margin.
She successfully defended her Lightning Stakes title last year but missed the Newmarket having been sent over to Adelaide instead.
John McNair’s now seven-year-old Statue Of Liberty gelding Hay List meanwhile is also set for an autumn comeback having been out of action since March with a number of illness and injury setbacks.
Having nearly lost their life last year, the triple Group 1 winner won the Newmarket Handicap in Black Caviar’s absence, also surpassing her weight carrying record with 58.5kg, before their second to Foxwedge in the William Reid Stakes at Moonee Valley last time out.
Moody is also represented in the Newmarket Handicap 2013 nominations by classy four-year-old Golden Archer, recent stable acquisition Karuta Queen, the formerly Waterhouse-trained Later Gator, Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes winner Moment Of Change and the undefeated colt Office Bearer.
As well as the mare from Melbourne and the boy from Sydney another champion sprinter looking to steal the show in the Newmarket this year is unbeaten WA speedster Barakey.
Prepared by Hay List’s original trainer Jim Taylor the Key Business gelding has won all 11 of their career starts to date back home in Perth most recently adding an elite level trophy into the cabinet with a good win in the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) in November.
Along with Barakey another Group 1 winning Perth raider nominated for the Newmarket 2013 is Luckygray.
Gino Poletti’s Bradbury’s Luck five-year-old was last seen winning their second Group 1 title in the Kinston Town Classic and connections will be hoping they have better luck in Melbourne than their two run campaign at Caulfield last year when fourth in the PB Lawrence Stakes and 11th in the NZ Bloodstock Memsie Stakes.
A number of Perth sprinters have been successful in the Newmarket Handicap over the years including Placid Ark (1987), Miss Andretti (2007) and most recently Scenic Blast (2009).
Some of the other big name Newmarket Handicap 2013 nominees include:
- Pierro (Gai Waterhouse) – 2YO Triple Crown winner last season this Lonhro colt continues to produce the goods when second in the Caulfield Guineas and third in the Cox Plate, early favourite for the 2013 Doncaster Mile in Sydney this autumn too
- Samaready (Mick Price) – More Than Ready filly won the Blue Diamond Stakes last summer as part of a four straight winning streak to kick off her career, third to Pierro in the Golden Slipper before a disappointing fourth in August as a three-year-old at Caulfield
- Shamexpress (Danny O’Brien) – Talented O’Reilly colt hasn’t raced since their third in the Coolmore Stud Stakes
- Ortensia (Paul Messara) – Veteran Testa Rossa seven-year-old mare travelled overseas last year and won in both Dubai and Britain, set to run in Australia for the first time since the 2001 Winterbottom (which she won)
Other super consistent gallopers in the mix include the Danny O’Brien-trained Adamantium last seen winning the Standish Handicap on New Year’s Day at Flemington, and Tassie raider Bel Price who has won their past five on the trot.
Late entries will close this Friday before the Newmarket Handicap first acceptances are taken on February 19 followed by the weights on the 26th.
The official 2013 Newmarket Handicap final field and barriers are then due out on March 6, with the team at Races.com.au to publish the full list of final declarations and gates.
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2013 Newmarket Handicap Final Field & Barrier Draw
Flemington Racecourse – 09/03/2013
|1||ADAMANTIUM (NZ)||Danny O’Brien||102|
|4||AFRICAN PULSE||Michael Moroney||93|
|7||ATOMIC FORCE||Darren Smith||107|
|8||AVOID LIGHTNING||David Jolly||89|
|9||BARAKEY||Jim P Taylor||107|
|10||BEL PRICE||Vicki Rhind||84|
|11||BETTER THAN READY||Kelly Schweida||87|
|12||BIG BUDDIE||Andrew Sawden||82|
|13||BLACK CAVIAR||Peter G Moody||130|
|14||BONNIE MAC (NZ)||Michael Moroney||94|
|17||DECISION TIME||Clarry Conners||105|
|18||DIAMOND EARTH||Anthony Cummings||78|
|19||EMERALD DOWNS||Anthony Cummings||70|
|20||FACILE TIGRE||Jason McLachlan||103|
|23||GENERAL TRUCE||Ricky Maund||100|
|24||GOLDEN ARCHER||Peter G Moody||103|
|26||GOOD BA BA (USA)||Rick Hore-Lacy||111|
|27||HALLOWELL BELLE||Gai Waterhouse||108|
|28||HAY LIST||John McNair||120|
|29||HONEY FLOWER||Ross McDonald||93|
|31||KARUTA QUEEN||Peter G Moody||99|
|32||LAST DAY (NZ)||David Jolly||68|
|33||LAST GIFT||Stephen Theodore||87|
|34||LATER GATOR (NZ)||Peter G Moody||65|
|36||LIGHT EXPRESS||Michael Hibbs||84|
|37||LONE ROCK||Robert Smerdon||107|
|39||MOMENT OF CHANGE||Peter G Moody||106|
|40||NOBBY SNIP||Gai Waterhouse||99|
|41||OFFICE BEARER||Peter G Moody||72|
|48||ROSE OF LINCOLN||David Jolly||70|
|51||SATIN SHOES||Clarry Conners||102|
|53||SHAMAL WIND||Robert Smerdon||86|
|54||SHAMEXPRESS (NZ)||Danny O’Brien||78|
|55||SHANGHAI WARRIOR||Pat Hyland||98|
|56||SHOCK VALUE||David Hayes||89|
|57||SOFT SAND||Paul Messara||95|
|59||SPIRIT OF BOOM||Tony Gollan||105|
|60||TEMPLE OF BOOM||Tony Gollan||108|
|64||WAR CHARM||Danny Williams||72|