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 Handicap
- Distance: 1,200 metres
- Track: Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne, Victoria
- Date: Saturday 6 March 2021
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.
Newmarket Handicap Final Field & Odds 2018
See below for early markets for this years Newmarket Handicap.
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.
|1 Redkirk Warrior
|11 Merchant Navy
|4 Rich Charm
|9 Ken’s Dream
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 Stakes, Oakleigh 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).
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