Newmarket Handicap Race Information

The Newmarket Handicap is the premier sprint race in Australia and is run over 1200 metres. The race is held in March or February each year at Flemington.

  • Race Type: Group 1
  • Distance: 1200 metres
  • Conditions: Open Handicap
  • Track: Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne, Victoria
  • Prizemoney: $1,500,000
  • Date: Saturday 9 March 2024

Newmarket Handicap Race History

See the 2024 Newmarket Handicap Preview and results.

See the 2023 Newmarket Handicap Preview and results.

See the 2022 Newmarket Handicap Preview and results.

See the 2021 Newmarket Handicap Preview and results.

The first Newmarket Handicap was run in 1874 and was won by a horse named Maid of Avenel. The race is for three year olds and up, and is the undisputed top sprint race in Australia, carrying prizemoney of $1,250,000. It is such a tough race that only five horses have won the race in consecutive years during its long year history – Redkirk Warrior (2017/2018) Razor Sharp (1982/1983), Correct (1960/1961), Gothic (1927/1928) and Aspen (1880/1881).

The race is run over the 1200 metre straight course at Flemington, with the exception of 2007 when it was held at Caulfield due to the Flemington track reconstruction. It is the only race at Flemington, apart from the Melbourne Cup, that can have 24 starters.

It is also a race where three-year-olds and older horses, fillies and mares, colts and geldings have all had their share of success. It is generally held on the second weekend in March.

In 2022 a five-year-old mare named Roch ‘N’ Horse, the 100/1 outsider, won. Not only was she the highest-priced winner to win this race (that dates back to 1874), but she was also the first New Zealand bred winner. She also gave jockey Patrick Moloney his first Group 1 winner. The longest priced winner before that was Better Beyond (1979) at 66/1.

Useful Facts

Last mare to win: Black Caviar (2011) – a filly won in 2023

Last 3YO to win: C&G – Bivouac (2020); Filly – In Secret (2023)

Multiple winners: Redkirk Warrior (2017 & 2018); Razor Sharp (1982 & 1983); Correct (1960 & 1961); Gothic (1927 & 1928); Aspen (1880 & 1881).

Fastest time (1200m): Black Caviar (2011) 1:07:36

Interesting trivia: Held at Caulfield in 2007 when Flemington was under reconstruction.

Past winners of the Newmarket Handicap

Trainer Bart Cummings won this race a record eight times, with his nearest rival being Lee Freedman with three wins. There have been some fantastic finishes in the race such as Rubitano’s win in 2002 where less than a long head separated the first six placegetters. Only two horses have won the Melbourne autumn sprint treble of the Lightning StakesOakleigh Plate and the Newmarket and these were Schillaci (1992) and Placid Ark (1987).

Almost all of the great sprinters have won or been placed in this race including Wakeful (1901), Ajax (1938), Bernborough (1946), Baguette (1971), Placid Ark (1987), Special (1988), Shaftesbury Avenue (1991), Schillaci (1992), Alinghi (2005), Takeover Target (2006), Miss Andretti (2007), Weekend Hustler (2008) and Black Caviar (2011).

Year Winner Second Third
2024 Cylinder Imperatriz The Astrologist
2023 In Secret Lofty Strike I Wish I Win
2022 Roch ‘N’ Horse The Astrologist September Run
2021 Zoutori Indian Pacific Amish Boy
2020 Bivouac Loving Gaby Gytrash
2019 Sunlight Osborne Bulls Brave Smash
2018 Redkirk Warrior Brave Smash Merchant Navy
2017 Redkirk Warrior Voodoo Lad Star Turn
2016 The Quarterback Black Heart Bart Chautauqua
2015 Brazen Beau Chautauqua Terravista
2014 Lankan Rupee Spirit Of Boom Knoydart
2013 Shamexpress Moment Of Change Aeronautical
2012 Hay List Buffering Foxwedge
2011 Black Caviar Crystal Lily Beaded
2010 Wanted Eagle Falls Starspangledbanner
2009 Scenic Blast Swiss Ace Aichi
2008 Weekend Hustler Magnus Grand Duels
2007 Miss Andretti Gold Edition Undue
2006 Takeover Target Snitzel Stratum
2005 Alinghi Fastnet Rock Foreplay
2004 Exceed And Excel Titanic Jack Regimental Gal
2003 Belle Du Jour Bel Esprit Super Impressive
2002 Rubitano North Boy Mistegic
2001 Toledo Show A Heart Mannington
2000 Miss Pennymoney Black Bean Falvelon

From the archives:

Newmarket Handicap Preview & Tips 2018

Track: Good    Weather: Fine

Thirteen runners have accepted for the $1,250,000 Lexus Newmarket Handicap. The early favourite is Merchant Navy who is unbeaten in 3 runs at this distance and has won both his Flemington starts. He closed hard for a close 3rd in the Rubiton Stakes over 1100m when resuming, and should go well here. Second favourite is 2017 winner Redkirk Warrior who flashed home late to win the Lightning Stakes when resuming. Third favouritism is shared between Brave Smash who won the Futurity Stakes last start, and Rich Charm who made late ground after being held up for 4th in the Rubiton Stakes when resuming.

Booker was 4th in the Oakleigh Plate after a first-up win in the Group 3 Kevin Hayes Stakes, while Catchy was held up and finished 6th in the Oakleigh Plate. Thronum faded late for a close 3rd in the Orr Stakes while Supido and Rock Magic chased hard for 4th and 5th respectively in the Lightning. Missrock resumed for 3rd in the Lightning while So Si Bon will be resuming here. Ken’s Dream won at this track and distance in a much weaker race last start. The other 3 runners are currently 30 to 1 or longer.

The following are the top 4 selections from our tipster panel for this years race.

Jo’s Tips
1 Redkirk Warrior
11 Merchant Navy
4 Rich Charm
9 Ken’s Dream