Super Saturday at Flemington Racecourse will see a full black-type race meeting that includes two impressive Group One races worth $1 million, one of which is the Newmarket Handicap (1200m), which is running at 3:50pm (AEDT).
Just nine sprinters will run down the Flemington straight, which is the smallest field size in the race’s history, but the race is jam-packed full of talent. The spring rivalry between Lankan Rupee, Chautauqau, and Terravista will renew, which is all anyone is really focusing on when it comes to the 2015 Newmarket Handicap.
Four of the nine runners are offering single figure odds in the betting market at Ladbrokes.com.au, led by defending champion Lankan Rupee. The Mick Price-trained five-year-old gelding has firmed to $3 from his opening price of $3.30 and has overtaken Chautauqua as the favourite.
Lankan Rupee will carry the topweight of 58.5kg and jump from the outside gate but that hasn’t deterred punters. The five-time Group One winner impressed in the Group 1 Lightning Stakes (1000m) first-up, dominating his rivals to win by two and three-quarter lengths.
Team Hawkes’ Chautauqua opened the betting as the $2.80 firm favourite but his price has since eased to $3.30. The four-year-old is a certified sprint star but has yet to win at the highest level of racing like some of his rivals.
He fought back hard to win the Group 2 Rubiton Stakes (1100m) first-up at Caulfield and will relish the return to Flemington, running down the straight, over 1200m.
Chris Waller’s Brazen Beau has been a single figure hopeful since the Newmarket Handicap betting opened but has been forgotten in the shadows of the top three.
The three-year-old colt is already a winner over the track and distance of the race after taking out the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) on November 1 and will enjoy the return of international superstar jockey Joao Moreira.
Terravista has finally seen his price shorten to $5.50 from $6 this morning. Punters have shied away from the five-year-old since he’ll be tackling the 2015 Newmarket Handicap first-up and no horse has won the race first-up since 1917.
However he runs perfectly first-up, winning all four of his starts, and has already beaten Lankan Rupee and Chautauqua in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) back on November 8.
The remaining five runners are all long shots in the betting with Watermans Bay and Delectation the lowest at $26 each.
Place your first bet on the 2015 Newmarket Handicap at Ladbrokes.com.au to receive up to $250 in a bonus match on your first bet.