A two-time Group 1 Champion in 2014, Moment Of Change headlines a classy field for this weekend’s major Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington racecourse.
Having finished no worse than fourth in his last eight races, Moment Of Change (barrier 7) closed a memorable 2013 spring campaign second behind Buffering in the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m).
Despite claiming resounding favouritism heading into the Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m) in January, the talented Barely A Moment gelding was unable to withstand a large charge from Richie’s Vibe and finished second by a nose.
Determined not to let that happen again, Moment Of Change produced a strong final straight sprinter to claim the Group 1 C.F Orr Stakes (1400m) ahead of a fast finishing Eurozone, before again showing supreme turn of foot the claim the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) from Sertorius and Pinwheel on February 22nd.
Trainer Peter Moody has an understandably high opinion of Moment Of Change, and is confident of continued success at racing’s highest level in 2014.
After suffering an exercise-induced Haemorrhage during the running of the 2013 Manikato Stakes (1200m) in October, Samaready returned to racing with a strong sprint to finish third behind Snitzerland and Shamexpress in the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (1000m) on February 15th.
Having partnered the talented More Than Ready mare in all 10 starts to date, including two wins at Group 1 level, jockey Craig Newitt is convinced he is on the horse to beat in the 2014 Newmarket Handicap, and will jump from the reasonable barrier 9.
Also confirmed in the final field of the 2014 Newmarket Handicap is fellow Mick Price-trained sprinter Lankan Rupee (barrier 13).
Having been unable to produce any form of consistency in either of his first two preparations, Mick Price and connections came to the decision to geld Lankan Rupee at the conclusion of his 2013 Autumn campaign; a choice that has now resulted in five wins from only six starts.
Returning with a comfortable victory in the Group 2 Rubiton Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on February 8th, Lankan Rupee displayed incredible turn of foot in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) on February 22nd to stroll home ahead of a talented field which included fellow Newmarket Handicap acceptor Knoydart.
Talented four-year-old Knoydart (barrier 4) has returned to the track in 2014 in career-best form, having comfortably claimed the TAB Rewards C&G Maiden (1250m), Listed Canterbury Classic (1100m) and Listed Hareeba Stakes (1200m) before finishing a strong third behind Lankan Rupee in the Oakleigh Plate; his first tilt at a Group 1 level event.
Trainer Peter Snowden has been impressed with the meteoric rise to form from the talented More Than Ready gelding and has outlined an appearance in the 2014 Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) as the ideal goal this preparation.
Having finished second in the Lightning Stakes first-up, trainer Danny O’Brien is confident Shamexpress has the form to defend his 2013 Newmarket Handicap crown this weekend, particularly after drawing the ideal barrier 3.
If successful, Shamexpress will become just the fifth horse to successful defend Newmarket glory and the first since Razor Sharp completed the fete in 1982/83.
A total of 15 runners have been confirmed to take position in the 2014 Newmarket Handicap.Ladbrokes is currently offering the best odds on all Flemington Races this weekend, including the 2014 Newmarket Handicap!
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2014 Newmarket Handicap Final Field
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||x24432x211||MOMENT OF CHANGE||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||7||58kg||112|
|2||46x1311x11||LANKAN RUPEE||Mick Price||Chad Schofield||13||56.5kg||109|
|3||13x4x118x3||SAMAREADY||Mick Price||Craig Newitt||9||56kg||112|
|4||61x97x92x2||SHAMEXPRESS (NZ)||Danny O’Brien||Damien Oliver||3||56kg||108|
|5||5010x9214x||FONTELINA||Anthony Cummings||Brad Rawiller||1||55.5kg||107|
|6||44x32124x2||SPIRIT OF BOOM||Tony Gollan||Michael Rodd||5||55.5kg||107|
|7||x43969x120||GENERAL TRUCE||Ricky Maund||Dean Yendall||10||53.5kg||103|
|8||5462434×42||PAGO ROCK||David Hayes||Stephen Baster||15||53kg||102|
|9||3x113x19x5||UNPRETENTIOUS||Nikki Burke||Craig Williams||14||53kg||102|
|10||23130×1113||KNOYDART||Peter Snowden||Tim Clark||4||52.5kg||101|
|11||7043x350x2||ALBRECHT||Peter Snowden||Chris Symons||2||52kg||97|
|12||22133×1515||FLAMBERGE||Peter G Moody||Vlad Duric||11||52kg||97|
|13||021x06666x||MISTER MILTON||Norman Waymouth||Darren Gauci||8||52kg||90|
|14||45x1221x0||BERNABEU||John O’Shea||Glen Boss||6||50kg||84|
|15||90x114540x||VA PENSIERO||Jason Coyle||Ms Kathy O’Hara||12||50kg||88|