The Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) is one of two Group One races running at Flemington this Saturday, reigniting the spring rivalry between Lankan Rupee, Chautauqua, and Terravista.
A total of nine sprinters are set to run down the Flemington straight; while it may be the smallest field size in the race’s history there is no denying the class involved in the $1 million race.
Four of the nine runners are offering single figure odds in the betting market at Ladbrokes.com.au, led by Chautauqua at $3.
The Team Hawkes-trained gelding will be in search of his first win at the highest level of racing in the 2015 Newmarket Handicap, enjoy a jump from barrier three, and carry 55.5kg in the weights (which is three kilos less than Lankan Rupee and one kilo less than Terravista).
Chautauqua will enjoy the return to Flemington, running down the straight, and over 1200 metres but is it enough to justify his favouritism? Check out our betting tips for the Newmarket Handicap below.
#1 Lankan Rupee ($3.20)
Mick Price’s five-year-old gelding is the market mover of the Newmarket Handicap betting, seeing his price shorten from $3.30. Lankan Rupee is the defending champion of the race after showing brilliant acceleration in the 2014 edition, thrashing a top field to win by two and a quarter length. The gelding is a five-time Group One winner and despite carrying the top weight and jumping from the outside gate, it’s hard to see him do anything but dominate the race, especially after his first-up performance in the Group 1 Lightning Stakes (1000m) on February 21. Lankan Rupee tracked up on the outside of the main pack leader and was only one length off at 400m. He hit the front with 200m to go and drew right away in a fantastic two and three-quarter length win. The gelding has the most experience over the track and distance of the race and has placed in all five of his second up runs.
#3 Chautauqua ($3)
Chautauqua has yet to win a Group One race like his rivals Lankan Rupee and Terravista but that could all come to an end in the 2015 Newmarket Handicap. The Team Hawkes-trained grey gelding displayed brilliant speed to win the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) by four lengths on October 4 before finishing just a head off Terravista in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) on November 8. He resumed in the Group 2 Rubiton Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on February 14, winning the tricky race in a narrow but impressive first-up win. He should relish the return to Flemington, running over 1200 metres, a track/distance combo he has won twice from three starts.
#2 Terravista ($6)
Considering the Joseph Pride-trained Terravista beat both Lankan Rupee and Chautauqua in the Darley Classic on November 8, his odds for the Newmarket Handicap are quite long. Punters are shying away from the gelding considering the fact he is running first-up in the race and no horse has won the race first-up since 1917. However, no first-up runner has ever had the talent of Terravista either. The gelding has won his lone start at Flemington and four of his five starts over 1200 metres.
If you want to back our 2015 Newmarket Handicap top three betting tips, head on over to Ladbrokes.com.au to get up to $250 in a bonus match on your first bet.