Super Saturday at Flemington will play host to two Group One races this weekend, the first of which is the Newmarket Handicap (1200m), running as race 6 at 3:50pm (AEDT).
Just nine sprinters are set to run down the Flemington straight in search of the $1 million total prize money on offer, the smallest field in the race’s history. Despite the small size, there’s no denying the talent on offer with Lankan Rupee, Terravista, and Chautauqua all set to resume their spring rivalry.
Terravista beat both horses in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) on November 8 but the odds are stacked against the gelding for the Newmarket Handicap considering he’s aiming to win the race first-up, a feat that hasn’t been accomplished since 1917.
Chautauqua is the $3 favourite in the betting at Ladbrokes.com.au, scoring a great start from barrier three and carrying 55.5kg, which is up to three kilos lighter than Lankan Rupee (58.5kg) and Terravista (56.5kg). The four-year-old grey has yet to win a Group One race like his rivals but the return to Flemington, down the straight, and running over 1200 metres will all work in his favour.
Rounding out the single figure odds are market mover and defending champion Lankan Rupee ($3.10), Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) winner Brazen Beau ($4.80), and Terravista ($6).
That’s how the bookies see the 2015 Newmarket Handicap going but do the race’s history, form guide, and betting statistics tell a different story?
2015 Newmarket Handicap Form Facts & Betting Stats
- Last year’s Newmarket Handicap winner was the Mick Price-trained Lankan Rupee, who jumped from barrier 12 (of 14) with Chad Schofield as jockey.
- Price is looking to win his second consecutive race with Lankan Rupee, who this year will be ridden by Craig Newitt. Schofield meanwhile will serve as jockey on #6 Driefontein ($51).
- #1 Lankan Rupee ($3.10) will look to become the first horse to win the Newmarket Handicap twice since 1983.
- Down the Flemington straight, barriers are not as important with five of the last eight winners jumping from double-figure gates.
- However since 1983 the most successful barrier by a long shot is seven with five winners. The horse jumping from barrier 7 this year is #8 Watermans Bay ($21).
- Favourites have an average record in the Newmarket Handicap, with only five justifying their favouritism in the last 10 years, the last of which was Hay List (2012).
- This means punters should be wary of when placing a bet on #3 Chautauqua ($3).
- That means punters should have a closer look at both #5 Brazen Beau ($4.80) and #9 Delectation ($17).
- The main lead-up race is the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield, which has revealed five winners in the last 10 years – Lankan Rupee (won), Wanted (4th), Scenic Burst (5th), Weekend Hussler (won), and Takeover Target (3rd).
- There is just one runner this year coming via the Oakleigh – #7 Lord Of The Sky (11th).
- The Group 1 Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington is considered a recent key lead-up race with three winners coming via the sprint race in the past five years – Shamexpress (6th), Hay List (2nd), and Black Caviar (won).
- Those coming via the Lightning Stakes this year are Lankan Rupee (won), Brazen Beau (2nd), and Watermans Bay (5th).
- In the last 10 years, each Newmarket Handicap winner has contested a Group One race as a lead-up.
- Three of the nine runners are coming via non-Group One races: Chautauqua (Group 2 Rubiton Stakes), Aeronautical (Group 3 TAB Rewards Stakes), and Delectation (Group 2 Hobartville Stakes).
- No horse has won the Newmarket Handicap first-up since 1917, which means #2 Terravista ($6) will be running against the odds on Saturday.
- However Terravista does have the best Win Rate of the field (69%) followed by Lankan Rupee (52%).
- While Chautauqua has the best Place Rate (82%) followed by Lankan Rupee (81%) and Brazen Beau (78%).
- Those with the best records at Flemington include: Lankan Rupee (7:3-1-1), Chautauqua (3:2-1-0), and Brazen Beau (3:1-1-0).
- Those with the best record running over the 1200m include: Lankan Rupee (9:4-1-2), Terravista (5:4-0-0), Chautauqua (7:2-4-0), Brazen Beau (4:3-0-0), and Delectation (7:2-3-1).
- Previous winners down the straight at Flemington are: Lankan Rupee (3:1-0-1), Terravista (1:1-0-0), Chautauqua (3:2-1-0), and Brazen Beau (2:1-0-0).
- Weights are important in the Newmarket Handicap with one three winners since 1983 carrying 58kg or more.
- This year Lankan Rupee will carry the topweight of 58.5kg.
You should now have all the information you need to make a well-informed bet on the 2015 Newmarket Handicap and tip the winner.
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