The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
James Cummings’ star sprinting filly In Secret was far too good for her rivals relishing a return to the Flemington straight for another Group 1 success at headquarters in the 2023 Newmarket Handicap results.
The gun young daughter of I Am Invincible capped off her brilliant spring campaign last time in beating home the boys by two lengths in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m).
She was back at Flemington third-up and fit for the 150th edition of the Group 1 $1.5 million Newmarket Handicap (1200m) and flew home with just 51.5kg for replacement rider Dean Holland.
Holland picked up the last-minute ride on the lightly weighted three-year-old with Ms Jamie Kah forced to abandon the remainder of her commitments following a nasty race fall in the Group 2 VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes earlier in the day.
Kah was taken to hospital with a concussion after badly knocking her head when thrown from her mount Flyball who fell just 400m from the start.
Holland was one of the few hoops able to take over the reigns on those kilos and made the most of the pick-up coming away with his second career Group 1 success.
“I’m just the lucky one who was able to ride light today and picked up the ride on one of Australia’s best sprinters,” the winning hoop told Racing.com.
“She has a tendency to be a little bit slow away but James said if that happened to just leave her alone and trust that she’s got a good turn of foot.
“I rode her accordingly and she was just too good.”
After winning the Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) first-up at Randwick In Secret was last seen finishing a brave third beaten a nose in the Group 1 Surround Stakes (1400m) on February 25.
Cummings kept to the same method of running over 1400m in a Sydney Group 1 before dropping back to six furlongs at Flemington as he did in the spring when In Secret won the Coolmore after a second to Jacquinot in the Golden Rose Stakes.
It proved a winning move once again with In Secret relishing a drop in both distance and weight along with an ideal mid-field draw to run over the top of them in the Newmarket.
“I’ve got to give him great credit for filling big shoes there,” Cummings said giving Holland credit after the race.
“Didn’t she just explode through the gap when it came?
“She was just upon them from second last in the run. It was a proper race with Lofty Strike who’s been going so well this preparation.
“It was a proper Newmarket and with 51 and a half we just didn’t see when she was at her best and had clear running how they might beat her.
“She’s proved to be absolutely top shelf again.”
In Secret was only fairly away and found herself settled third last the early stages before hitting the front with 200m to go when Holland pushed the button.
A sitting duck in front she was too strong holding on to defeat another good three-year-old with the Julius Sandhu-trained Snitzel colt Lofty Strike running second again after finishing runner-up in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) last time out.
“I don’t think I pushed the button too soon but everything opened up,” Holland said.
“She accelerated really well. It’s very lonely out in the front there at the 200 down the straight.
“She was very tough. A rock fit horse like I said probably the best horse in the race.
“We got the job done, that’s the main thing.”
Rounding out the Newmarket Handicap trifecta in third out widest on the track on the back of a Black Caviar Lightning second at the track fresh was Peter Moody’s Golden Eagle winning four-year-old I Wish I Win.
She became the first filly since Sunlight (2019) to win the Newmarket Handicap and handed Cummings his second success after his 2020 victory with fellow three-year-old Bivouac.
Cummings confirmed plans to now head to Royal Randwick on April 1 for the Group 1 $3 million TJ Smith Stakes (1200m).
“Two from three this preparation she can head straight to the TJ Smith in three weeks and look like not only a competitive chance but a big force in that feature,” he said.
“She was just able to descend upon them and demonstrate her dominance.
“She steps up to weight-for-age of course in three weeks against the best sprinters in the country, but she’s a very good sprinter this horse and we’re very, very grateful as a team to have her.”
Lankan Rupee (2014) was the last horse to complete the Newmarket Handicap – TJ Smith Stakes double in the same year.
Updated 2023 TJ Smith Stakes all-in betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au have In Secret into $3.20 favouritism ahead of The Everest winner Giga Kick ($4.60) to be the next and are available in full by clicking here.
2023 Newmarket Handicap Results & Finishing Order
|1||15||IN SECRET||James Cummings||Dean Holland||8||51.5kg||$6|
|2||9||LOFTY STRIKE||Julius Sandhu||Craig Newitt||1L||12||52.5kg||$10|
|3||3||I WISH I WIN (NZ)||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||1.2L||14||56.5kg||$4.60F|
|4||1||PRIVATE EYE||Joseph Pride||Brenton Avdulla||1.95L||2||58kg||$7|
|5||2||MAZU||Peter & Paul Snowden||Sam Clipperton||2.15L||16||57kg||$14|
|6||8||THE ASTROLOGIST||Leon & Troy Corstens||Damian Lane||2.25L||15||54kg||$41|
|7||16||BUENOS NOCHES||Matthew Smith||Ben Thompson||2.55L||9||50.5kg||$10|
|8||11||FRONT PAGE||Geoff Duryea||Patrick Moloney||2.85L||7||52kg||$26|
|9||10||CHAIN OF LIGHTNING||Peter G Moody||Ms Linda Meech||4.6L||6||52kg||$31|
|10||4||ROCH ’N’ HORSE (NZ)||Michael Moroney||Jamie Mott||6.6L||3||55.5kg||$19|
|11||7||SEPTEMBER RUN||Chris Waller||Jye McNeil||8.1L||11||54kg||$31|
|12||6||BELLA NIPOTINA||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Harry Coffey||9.35L||1||54.5kg||$14|
|13||13||STAR PATROL||Clinton McDonald||Damien Thornton||11.1L||10||52kg||$16|
|14||5||BALLER||Tony Gollan||Blake Shinn||11.3L||13||55kg||$26|
|15||14||SWATS THAT||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Daniel Moor||13.55L||5||52kg||$61|
|16||12||SNAPPER (NZ)||Michael Moroney||Michael Poy||17.55L||4||52kg||$101|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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