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Leading Jockey Craig Newitt is confident champion mare Samaready is the one to beat in this weekend’s Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m).
Having partnered the talented More Than Ready mare in all of her ten starts to date, Newitt has also tasted Group 1 success with fellow Newmarket frontrunners Lankan Rupee and Shamexpress, but told Sky Racing News there was never any doubt as the which mare he would choose to companion.
“I was always going to ride her” Newitt said.
“I’ve said all along I can’t put anything between her and the good mare I used to ride, Miss Andretti.
“I think Samaready has got an unbelievable amount of ability and I still don’t think we’ve seen the very best of her.”
Having partnered Lankan Rupee to success in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) only two weeks ago, Newitt said that while in career-best form, the exciting Redoute’s Choice gelding may find the step up to 1200m difficult.
“Lankan Rupee is going probably as good as anything in race at the moment, his form is unbelievable” he added.
“I think his toughest on Saturday will be a tough-run 1200 metres but the way he’s going I wouldn’t put it past him.
“I just think my mare tick all the boxes. She’s going great, the 1200 metres suits and I think she’ll be very hard to beat.”
Newitt will be aiming for his third Newmarket Handicap success this weekend, having partnered Miss Andretti to victory in the 2007 before repeating the fete aboard Shamexpress last year, who will be aiming to become just the fifth horse to successfully defend a Newmarket crown.
Samaready has claimed an impressive six wins in her ten starts to date, including the 2012 Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) and 2013 Group 1 Moir Stakes (1200m).
After suffering an exercise-induced haemorrhage during the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) in late October, the talented four-year-old was placed in the spelling paddock before returning with a strong last-ditch sprint to finish third behind Snitzerland and Shamexpress in the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington on February 15th.
Lankan Rupee currently heads betting markets for this weekend’s Group 1 Newmarket Handicap at a quote of $4 ahead of Samaready ($4.40), Shamexpress ($5) and dual Group 1 winner in 2014 Moment Of Change ($7.50).
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