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Talented five-year-old Moment Of Change will need to overcome the top weight of 58kgs if he is to register three-straight Group 1 victories in the 2014 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) after official weights were today released for the feature event at Flemington on March 8th.
Having followed up a disappointing second to Richie’s Vibe in the Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m) with a strong win in the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m) on February 8th, Moment Of Change continued his fine run of form when crossing the line ahead of Sertorius and Pinwheel in the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield last weekend; something that Racing Victoria senior handicapper Neil Jennings said was key to the top weight allocation.
“Moment Of Change was beaten by the narrowest margin in the 2013 Newmarket with 56.5kgs and he has returned this campaign with back-to-back Group 1 victories” Jennings told Racing Victoria News this afternoon.
“He also ran three-time Group 1 winner Buffering to a nose when a gallant runner-up in the Winterbottom Stakes in November, so he’s a worth top weight in this year’s race rising 1.5kgs.”
Currently sitting as outright second-favourite for the 2014 Newmarket Handicap, Lankan Rupee has been allocated 56.5kgs follow a dominant win in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield last weekend.
“Lankan Rupee is quickly becoming one of the best sprinters racing in Australia and he was visually impressive in carrying 56kgs to claim his maiden Group 1 victory in Saturday’s Oakleigh Plate, which necessitated an increase in the weight I had allocated for him in the Newmarket” Jennings added.
2013 Newmarket champion Shamexpress, who claimed last year’s edition carrying just 51.5kgs has risen drastically to 56kgs in 2014 following his particularly successful spring campaign.
“While Shamexpress rises from 51.5kgs as a winning three-year-old last year to 56kgs this year, he has taken the natural weight-for-age progression of 2.5kgs which means he has effectively been penalised 2kgs for his triumph and subsequent Group 1 placings” Jennings said.
Listed Hareeba Stakes champion Knoydart, who only features after the Darley operation chose to pay the $55,000 late entry fee yesterday was perhaps the biggest winner of today’s weight allocations; required to carry just 52.5kgs on Super Saturday.
Final acceptances for the 2014 Newmarket Handicap are scheduled for release on Wednesday, March 5th.
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