Sunday at the Sunshine Coast sees the postponed...
The autumn’s premier sprint race in Melbourne headlines the Super Saturday racing action at Flemington this weekend and below is our comprehensive 2018 Newmarket Handicap form guide analysis and betting preview on the ‘Straight Six’ classic.
Running as the sixth race on the nine event program, there are 15 hopefuls in the line-up for this year’s Group 1 $1.25 million Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m).
It is a nice size field full of depth and current favourite in Newmarket Handicap betting at Ladbrokes.com.au at $5 to add to the good recent record of three-year-olds in the race is the Aaron Purcell-trained Merchant Navy.
This son of Fastnet Rock was impressive at the track / distance in the spring beating a field of his own kind in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) before returning to take on the older sprinters first-up.
He was far from disgraced over a too-short distance when only a quarter-length third to Super Cash in Caulfield’s Group 2 Rubiton Stakes (1100m) carrying 55.5kg.
Merchant Navy will be fitter for the run, better over the 1200m that he boasts a flawless three-from-three record over and will also relish coming back to his pet track getting into the Newmarket on just 52kg.
Still, it will be no easy feat for the smart youngster who faces the likes of first-up Black Caviar Lightning Stakes winner Redkirk Warrior ($6.50) who defends his Newmarket title from the outside barrier and Darren Weir’s last start Futurity Stakes winner Brave Smash ($7.50) who is down in distance and racing at Flemington for the first time.
To help sort the genuine contenders from the pretenders in this autumn classic below we go over the full Newmarket Handicap 2018 form guide, betting history and statistical data on the Group 1.
2018 Newmarket Handicap Form Facts & Betting Stats
- Last year’s Newmarket Handicap winner was the Lindsay Park-trained Redkirk Warrior (2017) who became the first first-up winner in 100 years, the $31 roughie ridden to victory from barrier 4 (of 13) carrying 52.5kg with Regan Bayliss in the saddle
- #1 Redkirk Warrior ($6.50) returns chasing successive Newmarket Handicap wins for the first time since Razor Sharp (1982-83), this year coming off a lead-up win in the Black Caviar Lightning and carrying the 57.5kg top weight from the outside barrier (15 of 15)
- Barrier 15 hasn’t produced a Newmarket Handicap winner since Placid Ark (1987)
- Since Shaftesbury Avenue (58kg in 1991) just two Newmarket Handicap winners have carried more than 57kg to victory with Black Caviar (58kg in 2011) and Hay List (58.5kg in 2012)
- The Black Caviar Lightning Stakes has produced four of the past seven Newmarket Handicap winners
- #1 Redkirk Warrior is out to do the Lightning Stakes – Newmarket Handicap double for the first time since the former’s now namesake Black Caviar (2011)
- The other Black Caviar Lightning graduates out to frank the form in the Newmarket Handicap this year are: Missrock (3rd), Supido (4th) and Rock Magic (5th)
- The other key Newmarket Handicap form race to follow in recent history has been the Oakleigh Plate producing four winners since 2009 most recently The Quarterback (6th in 2016)
- The only Oakleigh Plate graduates in the Newmarket Handicap field on Saturday are #14 Booker ($9) and #15 Catchy
- #14 Booker and #15 Catchy are out to be the first three-year-old filly to win the Newmarket Handicap since Alinghi (2005)
- The other three-year-old in the mix is #11 Merchant Navy ($5) and three-year-olds have won a subsequent four times since Alinghi (2005) most recently Brazen Beau (2015)
- #11 Merchant Navy is favourite in Newmarket Handicap betting out to be the first to salute for the punters since Hay List (2012)
- The Lindsay Park stable chase successive Newmarket Handicap wins for the first time since Peter Moody (2010-11) saddling up the defending champion #1 Redkirk Warrior along with #7 Thronum ($12), #8 Fastnet Tempest ($34), #13 So Si Bon ($20) and #15 Catchy ($11)
- Along with #1 Redkirk Warrior the only other horse to have won a Group race in the lead-up is #2 Brave Smash (Group 1 Futurity Stakes, 1400m, Caulfield, 24/02/2018)
- #2 Brave Smash ($7.50) is out to win the Newmarket Handicap off a Futurity Stakes lead-up for the first time since Miss Pennymoney (2nd in 2000)
- There are no other previous Newmarket Handicap winning trainers with a runner on Saturday
- Regan Bayliss retains the ride on #1 Redkirk Warrior in 2018 looking for back-to-back Newmarket Handicap wins by a jockey for the first time since Luke Nolen (2010-11)
- The other previous Newmarket Handicap winning jockeys with a ride on the weekend are: Chad Schofield on #11 Merchant Navy and triple champion Craig Newitt on #12 Missrock
- #12 Missrock ($21) is the sole mare in the field looking to join Black Caviar (2011) as the only ones to win the Newmarket since Miss Andretti (2007)
- Three of the past five Newmarket Handicap winners jumped at double-figures including notable upsets by The Quarterback ($21 in 2016) and Redkirk Warrior ($31 in 2017)
- Barrier 7 has produced the most Newmarket Handicap winners (since 1983) with 6 and is drawn this year by #7 Thronum
- The highest Win Rate of the field belongs to #11 Merchant Navy (71%) followed by #6 Supido (47%)
- The best Place Rate of the field belongs to #11 Merchant Navy (86%) followed by #14 Booker (75%), #7 Thronum (73%) and #15 Catchy (73%)
- The horses with the best Flemington track records are: #6 Supido (6:4-0-0), #1 Redkirk Warrior (4:3-0-0), #4 Rich Charm (5:3-0-1), #11 Merchant Navy (2:2-0-0), #9 Ken’s Dream (6:2-1-1), #10 Lucky Liberty (5:1-1-1), #3 Lord Of The Sky (6:1-2-0), #12 Missrock (9:1-1-3), #14 Booker (2:1-0-1), #15 Catchy (2:1-0-0) and #8 Fastnet Tempest (1:1-0-0)
- The horses with the best record at the distance (1200m) are: #4 Rich Charm (10:6-2-1), #10 Lucky Liberty (9:5-1-2), #11 Merchant Navy (3:3-0-0) #7 Thronum (4:3-1-0), #9 Ken’s Dream (11:3-3-1), #5 Rock Magic (17:3-2-2), #6 Supido (4:2-0-1), #15 Catchy (4:2-0-0) and #1 Redkirk Warrior (5:2-1-0)
Stay tuned for our insider Newmarket Handicap 2018 tips checking out a full form guide on the race courtesy of Ladbrokes.com.au below in the meantime.
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