One of the two Group 1 Flemington races on ‘Super Saturday’ this weekend is the Newmarket Handicap 2017, a comprehensive form guide and betting preview of the sprint classic detailed below.
A final field of 13 short-distance specialists face off in Flemington Race 7 at 3:55pm (AEDT) in this season’s $1.25 million Group 1 Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) with betting at Ladbrokes.com.au firmly led by the rails-drawn Spieth.
The Bryce Heys-trained four-year-old is out to atone after two devastating close and luckless seconds in elite level company.
In the spring he went down a nostril flare over this track and distance in the Darley Classic, then first-up the Thorn Park stallion got held up in a crucial stage of the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) only to finish second best behind Terravista.
The bookies say it will be third time lucky from barrier one with Hugh Bowman aboard the $3.50 favourite in Newmarket Handicap betting.
Four other runners sit at single-figures in the latest Newmarket Handicap odds including Mick Price’s dual Group 1 winning three-year-old Extreme Choice ($5) in the outside barrier (13) and fellow colt Star Turn ($6.50) who comes off a Lightning Stakes third for Hawkes Racing.
Below we take a comprehensive look at the Newmarket Handicap form guide, betting history, facts and race statistics to uncover the value in the markets this weekend in Melbourne.
2017 Newmarket Handicap Form Facts & Betting Stats
- Last year’s Newmarket Handicap winner was the Robbie Griffiths-trained The Quarterback (2016) who came off a sixth in the Oakleigh Plate, jumped from barrier 7 (of 9) with Craig Newitt aboard on 52kg for a $21 upset
- #3 The Quarterback ($26) returns chasing back-to-back Newmarket Handicap wins for the first time since Razor Sharp (1982-83)
- He is first-up on Saturday and the last horse to win the Newmarket Handicap first-up was Polycrates way back in 1917
- The other first-up runners out to break the century-long drought are #5 Voodoo Lad and #12 Redkirk Warrior
- Robbie Griffiths (3-1-0-0) is out to go back-to-back as a trainer for the first time since Peter Moody with Wanted (2010) and Black Caviar (2011)
- The other previous Newmarket Handicap winning trainers with a runner this weekend are: David Hayes (21-1-1-1) with #4 Sheidel ($9) and #13 Redkirk Warrior ($34); Mick Price (7-1-0-0) with #6 Extreme Choice ($5); and Chris Waller (7-1-0-0) with #11 Counterattack ($31)
- Last year’s winning jockey Craig Newitt (12-3-1-2) rides #3 The Quarterback chasing successive wins in the race by a hoop for the first time since Luke Nolen (2010-11) and his fourth overall win in the Newmarket Handicap
- The other previous Newmarket Handicap winning jockeys with a ride on Saturday are: Corey Brown (4-1-0-0) on #1 Terravista, Damien Oliver (21-3-3-1) on #4 Sheidel, Stephen Baster (18-2-1-0) on #11 Counterattack and Joao Moreira (1-1-0-0) on #6 Extreme Choice
- Last year’s winning barrier (7) is the most successful (since 1983) producing six Newmarket Handicap winners; #3 The Quarterback is drawn the same gun Newmarket Handicap barrier for his title defence
- Barriers 6 and 13 are the only two relevant to the 2017 Newmarket Handicap field to have not produced a winner in that time; #8 Tivaci (6) and #6 Extreme Choice (13) are out to break the drought from those gates on Saturday
- Two of the past six Newmarket Handicap winners came off a lead-up win
- The last start winners (not first-up) in the mix this year are: #1 Terravista (Group 1 Lightning Stakes, 1000m, Flemington, 18/02/2017); #4 Sheidel (Group 1 Oakleigh Plate, 1100m, Caulfield, 25/02/2017), #8 Tivaci (Listed Kensington Stakes, 1000m, Flemington, 28/01/2017) and #10 Super Cash (Group 2 Rubiton Stakes, 1100m, Caulfield, 11/02/2017)
- #1 Terravista ($12) chases the Lightning Stakes – Newmarket Handicap double last achieved by Black Caviar (2011) and the 14th in history to do so
- The Lightning Stakes has produced four of the past six Newmarket Handicap winners and 16 of the past 30 – all but two in the past three decades having finished in the money
- The other Lightning Stakes graduates racing this weekend are: Spieth (2nd), Star Turn (3rd), Illustrious Lad (5th) and Counterattack (8th)
- #4 Sheidel ($9) is after the Oakleigh Plate – Newmarket Handicap double most recently completed by Lankan Rupee (2014)
- In the past decade five of the 10 Newmarket Handicap winners came off an Oakleigh Plate run including The Quarterback (6th) last year
- The other Oakleigh Plate graduate in the field on Saturday is Extreme Choice (3rd)
- In the past 10 years four favourites in Newmarket Handicap betting have saluted for the punters – most recently Hay List (2012)
- #2 Spieth ($3.50) is out to be the next punters’ pick to get the job done in the Newmarket Handicap results 2017
- Two mares have beaten home the boys in the Newmarket Handicap in the past 10 years; the mares in the mix this year are #4 Sheidel and #10 Super Cash
- Four three-year-olds have won the Newmarket Handicap in the past 10 years; the 3YOs in the race this year are #6 Extreme Choice and #9 Star Turn
- The highest Win Rate of the field belongs to #6 Extreme Choice (57%) followed by #4 Sheidel (56%)
- The best Place Rate of the field belongs to #5 Voodoo Lad (94%) followed by #2 Spieth (80%) and #9 Star Turn (80%)
- Horses with the best winning record at the Flemington track are: #3 The Quarterback (13-5-0-4), #1 Terravista (6-2-2-2), #7 Illustrious Lad (6-2-1-0), #8 Tivaci (8-2-2-1) and #2 Spieth (3-1-2-0)
- Over the distance (1200m) the horses with the best record are: #1 Terravista (12-5-0-3), #3 The Quarterback (13-4-1-3), #4 Sheidel (8-4-2-0), #7 Illustrious Lad (9-4-2-0), #5 Voodoo Lad (7-3-3-1), #2 Spieth (5-2-2-0), #8 Tivaci (3-2-1-0) and #11 Counterattack (9-2-2-2)
Stay tuned for our exclusive Newmarket Handicap 2017 tips and best bets, checking out the full race form guide provided by Ladbrokes.com.au in the meantime below.