Two of the season’s big-name sprint stars heading towards Saturday week’s Newmarket Handicap 2015 will have a jump-out down the Flemington straight on Friday morning with early favourite Chautauqua and young gun Brazen Beau to be put through their paces.
The Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes-trained Encoasta De Lago gelding Chautauqua currently leads the early markets at Ladbrokes.com.au for the $1 million Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) held at Flemington Racecourse on ‘Super Saturday’, March 14.
He pays $3.20 in the all-in Newmarket Handicap odds just ahead of the world’s equal highest-rated sprinter Lankan Rupee on $3.30 who won the Group 1 Lightning Stakes (1000m) first-up on February 21.
While the Mick Price-trained Lankan Rupee has now won four Group 1 races, four-year-old Chautauqua is yet to win at the highest level.
He has an excellent record of five wins and four seconds from 11 starts so far, most recently winning the Group 2 Rubition Stakes (1100m) first-up at Caulfield Racecourse on February 14.
That was the up-and-comer’s first run since his second to the world’s other equal highest-rated sprinter Terravista in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington on November 8 at the end of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Team Hawkes will help prepare their brilliant horse for the Newmarket Handicap tomorrow morning with a hit-out on the inside steeple grass at Flemington, the run scheduled for 6:48am (AEDT).
Runner-up to Lankan Rupee in the Lighting Stakes, Brazen Beau meanwhile currently sits as a $5.50 shot in the pre-field Newmarket Handicap betting markets.
Chris Waller’s I Am Invincible colt won the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) down the Flemington straight on Victoria Derby Day last season before his first-up second in the Lightning Stakes.
Waller’s Racing Manager Liam Prior confirmed to Racing Network on Thursday that Brazen Beau would also have a Flemington jump-out tomorrow, but whether that would be solo, with a partner or as part of a group of horses was yet to be decided.
“Chris will work out how he wants the horse to work later this afternoon but yes, he will be having a jump-out down the straight,” Prior said.
Chautauqua and Brazen Beau are two of four current single figure hopes in the Newmarket Handicap betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au.
As mentioned, Lankan Rupee is the narrow $3.30 second pick to go back-to-back after winning the race last Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival.
The Redoute’s Choice five-year-old however would have to equal the metric weight-carrying record set by Hay List (58.5kg) in 2012 after being allocated the 58.5kg top Newmarket Handicap weight – two kilos more than what he carried to victory 12 months ago.
The last of the single figure hopes, Joe Pride’s Darley Classic champ Terravista ($5) meanwhile was allocated the 56.5kg second heaviest weight much to the dismay of his trainer.
Race favourite Chautauqua has 55.5kg, two kilos less than his Rubiton Stakes winning weight over easier company, while Brazen Beau is on just 52kg with a 50kg minimum.
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