Redkirk Warrior Tops Newmarket Handicap 2018 Field

March 6, 2018

Redkirk Warrior Tops Newmarket Handicap 2018 Field

The reigning champion Redkirk Warrior heads a 15-horse 2018 Newmarket Handicap field on Super Saturday at Flemington Racecourse this weekend in Melbourne.

Redkirk Warrior

Black Caviar Lightning winner Redkirk Warrior is drawn barrier 15 of 15 for his Newmarket Handicap title defense at Flemington on Super Saturday. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos.

One of a bumper five final acceptances for the sprint classic for the Lindsay Park stable, Redkirk Warrior has suffered an early blow drawing the outside barrier (15) in the Group 1 $1.25 million Newmarket Handicap (1200m).

A light-weight in the race last Melbourne Festival of Racing, the former Hong Kong galloper became the maiden first-up Newmarket Handicap winner in 100 years.

This year the seven-year-old returns looking for successive trophies in the autumn classic for the first time since Razor Sharp (1982-83) but needs to do it from the wide alley with the 57.5kg top weight.

Redkirk Warrior, to be ridden by regular hoop Regan Bayliss, put in a big first-up trial for the title defence upsetting Redzel for the narrow win in the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m).

Brazen Beau (2nd in 2015) was the last Newmarket Handicap winner to come off a lead-up in that short-distance sprint, while Black Caviar (2011) was the last to do the double Redkirk Warrior chases on Saturday.

The gelding has a three-from-four record at Flemington Racecourse and is three-from-five second-up, but is out to join Toledo (2001) as the only other seven-year-old Newmarket Handicap winner from the past 30 years.

At the opposite end of the age scale is the current favourite in updated Newmarket Handicap betting at Ladbrokes.com.au, the Aaron Purcell-trained Merchant Navy.

The three-year-old Fastnet Rock colt is out to be the fifth of his age to win since 2008 and the first since the aforementioned Brazen Beau.

Merchant Navy, to be ridden by Chad Schofield, comes off a lead-up third from February 10 at Caulfield behind Super Cash when only a quarter-length beaten first-up.

In his other most recent run from VRC Derby Day the bay won the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at the Newmarket Handicap track and distance.

This weekend the gun youngster looks to retain his undefeated record at Flemington (2:2-0-0) and flawless 1200m record (3:3-0-0) getting up to his pet distance and dropping from 55.5kg to only 52kg.

Merchant Navy also drew well in the Newmarket Handicap barriers with gate four, which produced Redkirk Warrior for his success last year.

Also coming up trumps with a nice barrier two draw with globetrotting hoop Craig Williams booked for the ride is the Darren Weir-trained Japanese import Brave Smash.

Weir has two runners in the Newmarket Handicap field with Ken’s Dream in gate eight and Brave Smash, the latter one of the single-figure fancies to win.

Carrying the 56.5kg second top weight behind Redkirk Warrior, Tosen Phantom five-year-old Brave Smash is down in distance after a last start Caulfield win in the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) on February 24.

Third in the spring’s The Everest (1200m) in Sydney over this distance, Brave Smash needs to break a notable hoodoo to succeed with Miss Pennymoney (2nd in 2000) the last Futurity Stakes graduate to win the Newmarket Handicap next-up.

Other standouts in the mix include Rich Charm (5) who is undefeated at the track and distance and well-weighted with only 52.5kg, Michael Kent’s speedy Sebring six-year-old Supdio (14) who boasts four wins from six starts at the track and the Lindsay Park-trained Blue Diamond winning filly from last autumn Catchy (9) on the 50kg minimum.

Check out the full Newmarket Handicap 2018 field, barriers, jockeys and weights below before heading to Ladbrokes.com.au to back your weekend racing selections at the hottest odds.

2018 Newmarket Handicap Final Field & Barrier Draw

Flemington Race 7 (3:15pm) – 10/03/2018

# Form (Last 10) Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight Hcp. Rating
1 x105x100x1 REDKIRK WARRIOR (GB) David & B Hayes & T Dabernig Regan Bayliss 15 57.5kg 114
2 4x2123x531 BRAVE SMASH (JPN) Darren Weir Craig Williams 2 56.5kg 112
3 15x66x1650 LORD OF THE SKY Robbie Laing TBA 1 52.5kg 104
4 4111x411x4 RICH CHARM Udyta Clarke Patrick Moloney 5 52.5kg 104
5 11x43765x5 ROCK MAGIC Chris Gangemi Damian Lane 6 52.5kg 104
6 3x930x15x4 SUPIDO Michael Kent Beau Mertens 14 52.5kg 104
7 1306x13x14 THRONUM David & B Hayes & T Dabernig Michael Dee 7 52.5kg 104
8 311900821x FASTNET TEMPEST (IRE) David & B Hayes & T Dabernig Ben Allen (a) 10 52kg 98
9 75537×5141 KEN’S DREAM Darren Weir Dean Yendall 8 52kg 95
10 1351x30x32 LUCKY LIBERTY Henry Dwyer Chris Parnham 13 52kg 90
11 111x101x3 MERCHANT NAVY Aaron Purcell Chad Schofield 4 52kg 108
12 x1449729x3 MISSROCK Robbie Laing Craig Newitt 11 52kg 106
13 x22833005x SO SI BON David & B Hayes & T Dabernig Michael Walker 12 52kg 95
14 12x2316x14 BOOKER Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra Ben Thompson (a) 3 50kg 102
15 10x21330x6 CATCHY David & B Hayes & T Dabernig Cory Parish 9 50kg 102

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