Veteran 10-year-old Ihtsahymn entered the...
Defending champion The Quarterback is one of the feature Newmarket Handicap 2017 nominations taken this week for the Flemington autumn sprint running on ‘Super Saturday’ in March.
A total of 66 sprinters were paid for at early entry stage on Monday for this season’s edition of the $1.25 million Group 1 Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) that takes place down the Flemington straight on March 11.
Newmarket Handicap nominations were down four on the 70 received by Racing Victoria at this stage last season.
Last Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival the Robbie Griffiths-trained The Quarterback improved on a sixth in the Oakleigh Plate to score an upset Newmarket Handicap result as a 20/1 shot in betting.
The now six-year-old son of Street Boss is in the mix again looking to go back-to-back in the race for the first time since Razor Sharp (1982-83).
A Flemington specialist, The Quarterback has been to the track thirteen times for five wins and four thirds to date and since his Newmarket Handicap success has posted just one other win.
He took out the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) first-up in October and was last seen running sixth to Malaguerra in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) at the same track and distance on Emirates Stakes Day.
2017 Newmarket Handicap Nominations – Key Horses
- The Quarterback (Robbie Griffiths)
- Black Heart Bart (Darren Weir)
- Chautauqua (Hawkes Racing)
- Extreme Choice (Mick Price)
- Flying Artie (Mick Price)
The other super sprinters that finished off the Newmarket Handicap trifecta last year – Black Heart Bart (2nd) and Chautauqua (3rd) – are also in the mix again in 2017.
Darren Weir’s Blackfriars six-year-old Black Heart Bart has amassed over $2.7 million in career prize money thanks to a trio of elite level wins.
That latest of those was in the Underwood Stakes (1800m) last September at Caulfield.
He is nominated to kick-off his autumn this Friday night at Moonee Valley in the Group 2 Australia Stakes and was last seen running ninth to Winx in the Cox Plate over 2040m at that track.
Weir has a total of five Newmarket Handicap nominations this season including also William Reid Stakes winner last March Flamberge and ultra-consistent four-year-old Hellbent.
Chautauqua for Team Hawkes meanwhile is a $6.5 million earner and five-time Group 1 winner including his international win in Hong Kong’s Chairman’s Sprint (1200m) last May.
He is a genuine Flemington straight track horse boasting four wins, three seconds and a third from eight runs over 1200m at the course and also ran second in the 2015 Newmarket Handicap making this year his third run in the race if accepted.
2017 Newmarket Handicap Nominations – Key Trainers
- Lindsay Park (11)
- Darren Weir (5)
- John O’Shea (4)
The best represented stable with a bumper 11 Newmarket Handicap nominees is Lindsay Park.
Co-trainer David Hayes took out the race back in 1989 with Grandiose and is back with plenty of livewire hopes this season that he trains in partnership with his son Ben and nephew Tom Dabernig.
Among the key Lindsay Park nominees are Winterbottom Stakes runner-up Sheidel and the consistent Super Fun.
A host of the season’s gun three-year-old sprinters are out to take on the older sprinters in the Newmarket Handicap this year.
The youngsters have dominated the race in recent years including four wins in the past nine years, most recently with Brazen Beau (2015).
Some of the best three-year-olds bound for the race this March include Golden Rose winner Astern for Godolphin, Myer Classic winning filly I Am A Star, and the Mick Price-trained duo of Flying Artie and Extreme Choice.
Extreme Choice (1st) and Flying Artie (2nd) ran the Blue Diamond Stakes quinella last autumn for Price and both have gone on to win subsequent Group 1 races making them Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival contenders to watch.
Not A Single Doubt colt Extreme Choice beat the older gallopers at Moonee Valley in late September’s Group 1 Moir Stakes (1000m).
He then ran a close fifth to his star stablemate Flying Artie in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) on Derby Day at Flemington during the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
See below for the official 2017 Newmarket Handicap nominations, first acceptances for the race closing on February 21 and futures odds out shortly at Ladbrokes.com.au.
2017 Newmarket Handicap Nominations
Flemington Racecourse – 11/04/2017
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Hcp. Rating|
|1||1976x1225x||AEGEAN SEA||M||4||Clarry Conners||85|
|2||0x3x00352x||AROD (IRE)||H||6||Chris Waller||108|
|4||106x||ASTRO CASTRO||G||4||Alan Hunter||66|
|6||0x6025x75x||BIG MONEY||G||7||Rodney Northam||–|
|7||212x12129x||BLACK HEART BART||G||6||Darren Weir||113|
|8||2x1311x47x||CHAUTAUQUA||G||6||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||–|
|10||575432460x||CHURCHILL DANCER||G||6||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||101|
|12||62x600x21x||DAL CIELO (NZ)||G||4||Kris Lees||–|
|14||3525x456x4||DOTHRAKI||G||6||Peter & Paul Snowden||–|
|15||11x477x||EL DIVINO||C||3||Darren Weir||85|
|16||6x0690089x||ESSAY RAIDER||G||7||Trevor Godfrey||–|
|17||1118x15x||EXTREME CHOICE||C||3||Mick Price||–|
|18||115x16225x||FAATINAH||G||4||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||102|
|19||42156x323x||FELL SWOOP||G||5||Matthew Dale||110|
|21||14x7x01x05||FLIPPANT||M||4||Peter & Paul Snowden||–|
|22||2x123x11x||FLYING ARTIE||C||3||Mick Price||–|
|23||2×52717121||GRANDE ROSSO||G||5||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||96|
|24||6x1x14x3||GUARD OF HONOUR||C||3||Kris Lees||–|
|25||497x000x6x||HEART TESTA||G||7||Matthew Smith||–|
|26||31113x132x||HEATHERLY||M||4||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||107|
|28||240x11134x||HEY DOC||G||3||Tony McEvoy||100|
|30||11x154231x||I AM A STAR (NZ)||F||3||Shane Nichols||105|
|31||5121x1212x||ILLUSTRIOUS LAD||G||5||Peter Gelagotis||105|
|33||6162x||INSIDE AGENT (NZ)||C||3||Nigel Blackiston||75|
|35||0x10x3021x||KAEPERNICK||G||5||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||–|
|36||1170x15x0x||KAYJAY’S JOY||M||6||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||88|
|37||83x211478x||KEEN ARRAY||G||4||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||–|
|38||x360x22171||KURO (NZ)||G||5||Joseph Pride||–|
|39||236268×415||LITTLE INDIAN||M||4||Robbie Laing||67|
|40||1L0x55402x||MISS PROMISCUITY||M||6||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||99|
|42||2311x1210x||MUSIC MAGNATE (NZ)||G||5||Bjorn Baker||–|
|43||1182x||NO DOUBT||H||4||Anthony Cummings||–|
|45||11110x100x||PETITS FILOUS||M||4||Ciaron Maher||–|
|46||1x4646x4x||POWER TRIP||G||3||John McArdle||70|
|47||622x72x321||PRIVATE SECRETARY||M||7||Gregory Hickman||–|
|48||5120x5x21x||REDKIRK WARRIOR (GB)||G||6||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||100|
|49||11114x||RUSSIAN REVOLUTION||C||3||Peter & Paul Snowden||97|
|50||414210265x||SHAF||G||5||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||89|
|51||27x421152x||SHEIDEL||M||5||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||–|
|52||0313x68x23||SOLD FOR SONG||M||4||Kevin Kemp||92|
|53||7x0111x12x||SPIETH (NZ)||H||4||Bryce Heys||108|
|54||x256x1213x||STAR TURN||C||3||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||106|
|55||31536x143x||SUPER CASH||M||4||Andrew Noblet||92|
|56||13111233×3||SUPER FUN||G||6||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||81|
|58||24×111||TACTICAL ADVANTAGE||G||3||James Cummings||–|
|59||242x256Px1||TARGET IN SIGHT||G||7||Joseph Pride||–|
|61||61539x146x||THE QUARTERBACK||G||6||Robbie Griffiths||110|
|64||1||VILLA ROSA||F||3||Ciaron Maher||63|
|65||212311210x||VOODOO LAD||G||5||Darren Weir||107|
|66||31619×7||WALL STREET WOLF||G||4||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||67|
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