On Friday Sydney’s Newcastle Racecourse hosts the Newcastle Newmarket Handicap 2017, field and betting on the middle distance sprint led by the John O’Shea-trained Chetwood.
Eleven horses are engaged for this season’s $150,000 Group 3 Cocoa-Cola Newcastle Newmarket Handicap (1400m), which is set to run as Race 8 at 5:35pm (AEDT) on Friday afternoon.
Of the runners in the mix four are under double-figures for the win in the latest Newcastle Newmarket Handicap odds at Ladbrokes.com.au including the $3 favourite Chetwood.
The bookies are taking no chances with the Godolphin-raced four-year-old despite his wide barrier ten draw.
English jockey William Buick is down to ride the consistent son of Exceed And Excel who is third-up for the season and chasing his first win in 2017.
Chetwood was on fire last time in posting four wins on the trot including the Group 3 Cameron Handicap (1350m) at Beaumont and the Listed Weekend Hussler Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield in October by two lengths.
He ran a first-up sixth behind Group 1 winner Malaguerra in Moonee Valley’s Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m) and was last seen crossing a credible fifth to McCreery on a Heavy (9) Randwick track in the Group 3 Liverpool City Cup (1300m) on February 25.
Out to atone for that loss as the beaten odds-on favourite, connections are hoping for a firmer track for Chetwood on Friday as the gelding looks to retain his undefeated status over the distance (3-3).
The biggest danger in Newcastle Newmarket Handicap betting at $4.20 is the 59kg top weight Happy Clapper who gives a kilo away to Chetwood on 58kg.
Patrick Webster prepares Teofilo six-year-old Happy Clapper who is second-up for the season after his brave second to Gold Symphony on March 5 at Canberra.
The galloper carted a hefty 60.5kg first-up from barrier 13 of 13 in the Listed National Sprint (1400m) and looks better suited to this week’s assignment as the multiple Group 1 placegetter chases his first win since the Group 2 Villiers Stakes (1600m) in December of 2015.
Happy Clapper has form around the world’s best horse on the turf Winx having crossed second to her in last autumn’s Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) before his third to Lucia Valentina in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) so has class if he is at his best.
Rounding out the single-figure hopes for the win are Snippets Land ($6.50) drawn well in barrier two and Too Good To Refuse ($9) jumping from gate five with Melbourne Cup winning jockey Corey Brown aboard.
Snippets Land is prepared by last year’s winning trainers Peter & Paul Snowden who took out the race with Artistry (2016).
The Snippetson six-year-old comes off back-to-back thirds when only a neck off Testashadow at the Gold Coast in January’s Magic Millions Cup (1400m) and also under a length beaten by the winner Le Romain in the Group 3 Southern Cross Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on February 13.
Le Romain franked the form of the Southern Cross Stakes going on to beat Chautauqua on March 4 in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m), which bodes well for Snippets Land this week.
Desleigh Forster’s four-year-old Rothesay stallion Too Good To Refuse looks well weighted in the Newcastle Newmarket Handicap getting in on the 54kg minimum.
The Brisbane-trained galloper jumped a roughie shot in the Canterbury Stakes finishing second last when seventh behind Le Romain, but will be better suited to the class of Friday’s race.
Check out the full Newcastle Newmarket Handicap 2017 field, barriers, jockeys, weights and current Fixed Win odds available online now at Ladbrokes.com.au.