There was no love for Tofane in Saturday’s...
The powerhouse Lindsay Park stable are after another page in the Newmarket Handicap history books this afternoon on Super Saturday saddling-up five chances in the classic Flemington sprint.
Last Melbourne Festival of Racing the David Hayes-led operation broke a 100 year hoodoo with their Hong Kong import Redkirk Warrior the first in a century to salute in the Group 1 $1.25 million Newmarket Handicap (1200m) first-up.
This weekend the now seven-year-old Notnowcato gelding returns looking to secure back-to-back Newmarket Handicap wins for the first time since Razor Sharp (1982-83).
He got the job done in the race at the $31 Newmarket Handicap odds last year fresh with only 52.5kg on his back but now carries the 57.5kg top weight.
That weight historically makes the task hard with only three Newmarket Handicap winners in the past 30 years having carted in excess of 57kg to victory: Shaftesbury Avenue (58kg in 1991), Black Caviar (58kg in 2011) and Hay List (58.5kg in 2012).
Still, Redkirk Warrior remains a winning hope even under the hefty kilos from the outside barrier (15 of 15) after his upset win at the track first-up over Redzel in the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) on February 17.
Newmarket Handicap betting currently has the galloper at $8 and drifting to salute, giving Hayes his overall third success in the event, having also prepared Grandiose to victory in 1989, and his 73rd Australian Group 1 winner.
Razor Sharp was the fourth horse to enjoy successive Newmarket Handicap victories, but Redkirk Warrior is out to be the first to win the Newmarket – Lighting Stakes – Newmarket triple.
Before him 45 Lightning Stakes winners have raced in the Newmarket Handicap field, the double completed on 13 occasions most recently by Black Caviar (2011).
Jockey Regan Bayliss rode Redkirk Warrior to victory last year and retains the ride today looking for successive wins by a hoop in the race for the first time since Luke Nolen rode the Peter Moody-trained stablemates Wanted (2010) and Black Caviar (2011).
Along with Redkirk Warrior last year’s winning stable have four other Newmarket Handicap horses in the mix including Fastnet Tempest and So Si Bon looking to emulate the reigning champ with a first-up win.
Lightly-raced import Fastnet Tempest had three runs in Australia during the spring including a mile win at Flemington on Emirates Stakes Day.
He is yet to face anywhere near this class of rivals however and is also yet to win over less than 1400m.
Still, the punters are coming for him and he is the early Newmarket Handicap market mover backed din from $41 to $21.
So Si Bon is also a $21 outsider carrying just 52kg, the So You Think four-year-old looking to break a lengthy winning drought going back to September of 2015.
Shorter in betting for Lindsay Park meanwhile are Thronum ($12) and the gun filly Catchy ($11) drawn in barriers seven and nine respectively.
Barrier seven has produced six Newmarket Handicap winners (since 1983) and four-year-old Snitzel entire Thronum is out to be the next in his Flemington debut on the back of the close fourth when a quarter-length beaten in the Group 1 C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m) last time out.
Catchy meanwhile comes off a luckless sixth in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) and is one of the Races.com.au team’s Super Saturday Best Bets at a value price.
Check out all the Newmarket Handicap 2018 betting odds and options online now at Ladbrokes.com.au.
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