Hong Kong import Redkirk Warrior defied history breaking a 100 year drought to win the Newmarket Handicap 2017 first-up down the Flemington straight for the flying Lindsay Park stable.
It had been exactly a century since the last Newmarket Handicap winner did so first-up when Polycrates won the famous sprint fresh back in 1917.
In racing though, hoodoos are there to be broken and history made as it was on ‘Super Saturday’ this autumn in the $1.25 million Group 1 Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m).
Spruiked by co-trainer David Hayes as their “best horse in the stable”, Redkirk Warrior went out unwanted in Newmarket Handicap betting jumping a $34 roughie through Ladbrokes.com.au despite getting in on a 52.5kg light weight.
“We’ve been telling everyone that he’s the best horse in the stable, he just hadn’t had a chance to show everyone,” Hayes, who also prepared Grandiose for his 1989 Newmarket Handicap success, said post-win on Saturday.
The six-year-old Notnowcato gelding is only very lightly-raced having just his tenth career start in the Newmarket Handicap and running for the first time since he won the Group 3 Sandown Stakes (1500m) in the spring at just his second career start.
Retired from Hong Kong racing due to feet issues, the galloper has also undergone a throat operation and neither stopped him from scoring the cruisy Newmarket Handicap upset.
“It was fantastic,” Hayes said.
“He’s a superstar.”
Up-and-coming jockey Regan Bayliss celebrated his own Group 1 victory called up to ride Redkirk Warrior in the Group 1 from a nice barrier four draw.
“He’s a good horse and he proved it today,” Bayliss said after the victory.
“I was very confident, David gave me confidence how well the horse was going.
“He’s so untapped. He’s had 10 starts for 5 wins now.
“The world’s his oyster and I’m just so grateful to have been riding him today.”
He got the horse into position up near the speed set by the Team Hawkes-trained three-year-old Star Turn as the entire field crossed to the inner section after the jump.
Redkirk Warrior sat around third behind the leaders and in the closing stages, easily drew forward to get his head in front and draw clear to beat home the also first-up runner Voodoo Lad prepared by Darren Weir.
Rounding out the surprise Newmarket Handicap 2017 trifecta in third was the front-runner Star Turn second-up off another third at the track in the Black Caviar Lightning.
The very impressive win had Hayes confident their autumn plans of running in the Newmarket Handicap and then the $3 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) in Sydney weren’t as crazy as they sounded.
“We’re coming to Sydney,” he declared.
“We set him for the Newmarket – Doncaster Mile double….and now I wouldn’t swap him for many in the Doncaster.”
The 2017 Doncaster Mile runs at Royal Randwick on April 1.
Get behind this autumn’s Newmarket Handicap 2017 winner Redkirk Warrior next race at the hottest autumn racing odds online at Ladbrokes.com.au – home of Odds Boost (T&Cs apply).
2017 Newmarket Handicap Results & Finishing Order
Flemington Race 7 – 11/03/2017
|1||12||REDKIRK WARRIOR (GB)||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Regan Bayliss||–||4||52.5kg||$31|
|2||5||VOODOO LAD||Darren Weir||Damian Lane||2L||2||54kg||$17|
|3||9||STAR TURN||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Glen Boss||2.1L||11||52.5kg||$8.50|
|4||4||SHEIDEL||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Damien Oliver||2.3L||3||54kg||$8.50|
|5||8||TIVACI||Michael Moroney||Patrick Moloney||2.5L||6||53kg||$41|
|6||6||EXTREME CHOICE||Mick Price||Joao Moreira||2.9L||13||53kg||$4F|
|7||13||INSPECTOR||Peter White||Dean Yendall||3L||8||52.5kg||$301|
|8||10||SUPER CASH||Andrew Noblet||Ben Allen (a)||3.1L||9||52.5kg||$17|
|9||2||SPIETH (NZ)||Bryce Heys||Hugh Bowman||3.3L||1||55.5kg||$4.40|
|10||3||THE QUARTERBACK||Robbie Griffiths||Craig Newitt||4.05L||7||55kg||$31|
|11||7||ILLUSTRIOUS LAD||Peter Gelagotis||Anthony Darmanin||5.05L||5||53kg||$9|
|12||1||TERRAVISTA||Joseph Pride||Corey Brown||5.8L||12||57kg||$16|
|13||11||COUNTERATTACK||Chris Waller||Stephen Baster||8.8L||10||52.5kg||$31|