As expected speed queen Black Caviar will not contest the Newmarket Handicap 2013 next month with Peter Moody’s undefeated star missing from the 24 first acceptances taken for the Flemington feature this week.
Fresh off a record-breaking win in the Lightning Stakes, Black Caviar will bypass the $1 million Group 1 Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) on March 9 where she would have been allocated the 61kg topweight and will instead be saved for the $400,000 Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley a fortnight later.
While Black Caviar may be absent from the Newmarket Handicap first acceptances, cut from 65 at nomination stage, there are still plenty of talented sprinters on track for the lucrative Melbourne Festival of Racing classic.
Moody still has two hopefuls in the mix with former Magic Millions Classic winner Karuta Queen and the new Newmarket Handicap betting favourite Moment Of Change.
Barley A Moment four-year-old, winner of the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes during the spring, resumed in the Lightning Stakes last Saturday and was a brave second behind their superlative stablemate.
One of the other key first acceptors is Jim Taylor’s undefeated WA raider Barakey who makes their Melbourne debut in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield this Saturday.
The Key Business five-year-old, last seen winning the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes back home at Ascot in November, arrived safely in Melbourne this week and is likely to jump favourite for the event as he vies for his 12th consecutive victory.
“He handled everything good as gold, it was like he’d done it before,” Taylor said.
Also on that flight was another Group 1 winning Perth champ, Luckygray, who is also on track for a shot at the Newmarket this autumn where a win would see them join other WA stars including Hay List (originally prepared by Jim Taylor), Scenic Blast, Placid Ark and Miss Andretti to win a big Melbourne sprint.
Two other lesser known Newmarket Handicap hopefuls also boast a flawless race record to date with the lightly-raced Last Day and fellow Oakleigh hopeful Shamal Wind.
Other top fancies among the remaining Newmarket Handicap entries then include the likes of Paul Messara’s internationally performing mare Ortensia who runs in the Oakleigh this weekend, Brisbane visitor Better Than Ready and fellow Queenslander Spirit Of Boom last seen running third to Barakey in the Winterbottom.
One person who believes this year’s Newmarket will be a thrilling edition even in the absence of the ‘Black Flash’ and last year’s winner Hay List is Racing Victoria’s senior handicapper Neil Jennings.
“Black Caviar won’t be there but the race is definitely shaping as another epic,” Jennings said.
“She (Black Caviar) bypassed the race last year and we were still treated to one of the most memorable Newmarket’s of all time when Hay List set a metric weight-carrying record to win.
“A number of Group 1 winners are set to contest the race and there is huge interest around the likes of Barakey, Ortensia and Luckygray as well as some of the younger up and comers.”
The Newmarket Handicap weights will be released by Jennings on Tuesday February 26 and published right here at Races.com.au.
The 2013 Newmarket Handicap final field is then due for release on March 6 but you can get in on the ante-post betting action today when you sign up with bookmaker.
So don’t delay, join bookmaker.com.au today and enjoy access to all the best autumn horse racing odds and futures markets!
2013 Newmarket Handicap First Declarations
Flemington Racecourse – 09/03/2013
|3||ATOMIC FORCE||Darren Smith||107|
|4||AVOID LIGHTNING||David Jolly||97|
|5||BARAKEY||Jim P Taylor||107|
|6||BETTER THAN READY||Kelly Schweida||88|
|7||BIG BUDDIE||Andrew Sawden||82|
|8||DECISION TIME||Clarry Conners||105|
|9||FACILE TIGRE||Jason McLachlan||103|
|11||KARUTA QUEEN||Peter G Moody||99|
|12||LAST DAY (NZ)||David Jolly||68|
|13||LONE ROCK||Robert Smerdon||106|
|15||MOMENT OF CHANGE||Peter G Moody||108|
|18||SATIN SHOES||Clarry Conners||102|
|19||SHAMAL WIND||Robert Smerdon||88|
|20||SHAMEXPRESS (NZ)||Danny O’Brien||85|
|21||SHANGHAI WARRIOR||Pat Hyland||98|
|22||SPIRIT OF BOOM||Tony Gollan||105|