2022 Newmarket Handicap Runner By Runner Preview, Odds & Tips

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Thu 10th March 2022


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The $1.5m Newmarket Handicap, run over 1200m at Flemington, is a G1 race held during the Autumn Carnival, the same day as the G1 Australian Cup. Recognised as one of the most prestigious sprint races in Australia, the Newmarket Hcp has been won by some absolute speed stars, since it’s first running in 1874, the most notable being Black Caviar in 2011.

As well as the Australian Cup, Bart Cummings also holds the record for most wins in the race as a trainer. He won the Newmarket 8 times, most recently with versatile galloper Shaftesbury Avenue, in 1991.

Looking at the market for this year’s sprint feature, Dabble has last start Lightning Stakes winner, Home Affairs, favourite at $3.70, just ahead of the John O’Shea trained, Lost and Running, at $3.90. These two dominate the market, and are the only runners under double figures at this stage. Three year old colt, Artorius, is currently the next best in the market at $11.

However, we know with horse racing that anything can happen, and a capacity field of sprinters heading down the Flemington straight six can be hard to line up. So, we have dissected each of the horses’ chances for you! Read on below to find our runner by runner preview of the 2022 Newmarket Handicap along with The Shark’s best tips. 

1. Masked Crusader (13) – $13
Jockey – Jye McNeil 57kg
Trainer – Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes

The Everest runner up, who seemed somewhat disappointing first up in the G1 Lightning Stakes. That was his first go at Flemington, and the 1000m may have been a bit sharp for him. The step up to 1200m here, and a nice barrier can see him bounce back big time. 

2. Home Affairs (16) – $3.70F
Jockey – James McDonald 56kg
Trainer – Chris Waller

Star colt, who won the G1 Lightning Stakes last start, defeating stablemate and odds on favourite, Nature Strip. He won the G1 Coolmore Stud Stakes last Spring in good time, so obviously has an affinity with the Flemington straight. Draws the outside here, which could be advantageous if the wider lanes are superior, and McDonald sticks. Hard to knock.

3. Lost and Running (9) – $3.90
Jockey – Hugh Bowman 56kg
Trainer – John O’Shea

Excellent win first up in the G3 Southern Cross Stakes at Randwick, where he carried the grandstand (61kg), and defeated Overpass, who has since won the Inglis Sprint. He finished on their heels in The Everest, and drops 5kg here. Ticks plenty of boxes, and if he can handle the Flemington straight, he’s more than capable of getting the job done.

4. Zoutori (1) – $41
Jockey – Damian Lane 55.5kg
Trainer – Matthew Ellerton

Got back and never figured first up in the G1 Oakleigh Plate. Step up in trip suits, has won 4 times from this start, and gets a nice little weight drop. Can improve with those factors in mind, but not sure he can find enough to win this. 

5. Count De Rupee (7) – $26
Jockey – Brock Ryan 54kg
Trainer – Robert & Luke Price

Went to another level last prep, winning the $1m Gong, and being nailed on the line by Im Thunderstruck, in the $7.5m Golden Eagle. Has a good fresh record and has won 4 from 6 over 1200m. Not sure he is quite up to a few of these over this distance, but in saying that, I also don’t think he’s here for the scenery. Has to be respected.

6. Levante (10) – $23
Jockey – Michael Dee 53.5kg
Trainer – Ken & Bev Kelso

Dual G1 winning kiwi mare who brings with her a brilliant record, and an electric turn of foot. Won the G1 Telegraph Stakes two back in good fashion, before taking out the G1 BCD Group Sprint last start. Hard to line up that form, but I have no doubt she can measure up here. Draws well out in the middle, and will be finishing hard at the business end of the race. 

7. Halvorsen (11) – $41
Jockey – Dean Holland 52.5kg
Trainer – Robbie Griffiths & Mathew de Kock

Flemington straight track specialist who was good last start winning the G3 Standish Handicap. Won the Kensington Stakes three back, defeating Malkovich, who won here last week. May struggle to win this, but is racing well and will appreciate the light weight. Place hope. 

8. Oxley Road (15) – $19
Jockey – Blaike McDougall 52.5kg
Trainer – Peter G Moody

Consistent horse who ran well last start in the G1 Oakleigh Plate. Has form lines around the likes of Masked Crusader, and will roll forward out wide on the track. Deserves his spot in the field, but it’s hard to see him taking home the winner’s cheque.

9. Poland (14) – $101
Jockey – Michael Poy 52.5kg
Trainer – Michael Moroney

Ran a big race first up in the G1 Oakleigh Plate, where he finished 5th. Stable is in form, and he’s 1 from 1 here at Flemington, albeit over 1400m. In saying that, he might find these a bit sharp, and I’m happy to leave him out, and wait for him to get to 7 furlongs. 

10. Quantico (12) – $16
Jockey – Kerrin McEvoy 52.5kg
Trainer – John O’Shea

Talented gelding resuming. Rounded out a good prep, with a strong win in the Listed MSS Security Sprint here at Flemington, last Spring. Has trialled well, in company with stablemate, Lost and Running, in preparation for his return here. This is a big ask first up, but is capable of being competitive.

11. Roch ‘N’ Horse (3) – $61
Jockey – Patrick Moloney 52.5kg
Trainer – Michael Moroney

Another kiwi visitor who brings solid form across the ditch here. Has finished runner up to Levante twice in her last three outings. Again, it’s hard to line that form up, but the Moroney camp wouldn’t have her here if she wasn’t up to it. 

12. September Run (8) – $26
Jockey – Jamie Kah 52.5kg
Trainer – Chris Waller

G1 winning mare resuming. Form last prep was below par, with her best run being first up in the G2 McEwen Stakes. Won the G1 Coolmore Stud Stakes this track/distance as a 3YO, and ran 2nd in last year’s G1 Lightning Stakes. If she can find some of that form, she can win the race, but that seems a big query. 

13. Snapdancer (17) – $16
Jockey – Harry Coffey 52.5kg
Trainer – Ciaron Maher & David Eustace

Underrated mare who resumed with a brilliant win in the Magic Millions fillies and mares feature on the Gold Coast, before again destroying her rivals second up in the G3 Triscay Stakes at Randwick. Steps up to the big time now, and will have to improve again to make it three on the hop. Not sure she can win the race, but will certainly give backers a sight.

14. Swats That (6) – $16
Jockey – Craig Williams 52.5kg
Trainer – Leon & Troy Corstens

Resumed with a strong effort in the G1 Lightning Stakes, behind race favourite Home Affairs. Her late sectionals were slick on that occasion, and she drop’s 4kg here. She finished 2nd in last year’s G1 VRC Classic behind Nature Strip, and has to be considered a live hope in this at good odds.

15. The Astrologist (4) – $61
Jockey – Fred Kersley 52.5kg
Trainer – Leon & Troy Corstens

Finished down the track last start in the G1 Lightning Stakes. Prior to that, his form was good in weaker races. Has good stats this track/distance, but finds himself backing up in G1 grade here again. Hard to see him figuring after his last performance. 

16. Artorius (2) – $11
Jockey – Craig Newitt 51kg
Trainer – Anthony & Sam Freedman

Blue Diamond (2021) winning colt, who resumed in the G2 Rubiton Stakes at Caulfield. On paper, it looks as though he may have been disappointing, but his run was full of merit, and his last furlong was very strong. The step up to 1200m is a big plus here, and he finished 3rd in last year’s Coolmore Stud Stakes, suggesting the straight is no problem. If he can follow something into the race from the low draw, and get a clear crack at them the last 400m, he is more than capable of finishing over the top of them. Each way chance.

17. Finance Tycoon (5) – $26
Jockey – Josh Richards (a) 50.5kg
Trainer – Danny O’Brien

Ran his rivals into the ground last start in the G3 Zeditave Stakes at Caulfield. Has had a throat op, and likes to roll along in front at his own leasure. Don’t think he will be able to do that here, and is hard to see him putting another win next to his name in this.

Final Word

This year’s Newmarket Handicap shapes up to be a brilliant contest. Star 3YO colt, Home Affairs, was super first up defeating stablemate, Nature Strip, and was electrifying last prep winning the Coolmore Stud Stakes, at this track/distance. If he can run up to either of those performances again here, he will take a tonne of beating. 

In form gelding, Lost and Running, was just as good winning first up in the G3 Southern Cross Stakes at Randwick, and the form has since been franked, with Overpass winning here last week. His form last prep was strong, and looks to be in for a great prep. Those two dominate the market, but the winning chances certainly don’t end there. 

Masked Crusader will be out to make amends, after what seemed a below par first up run in the Lightning. The step up to 1200m suits, and it’s hard to write him off on that run alone. Kiwi mare, Levante, has an explosive turn of foot, and if she can adapt to the Flemington straight, she is more than capable of finishing in the money. 

Mares Swats That and Snapdancer look ready to put in big performances going off their last start efforts, and 3YO colt Artorius, is a horse loaded with ability, and just needs the right run to be able to unleash his devastating turn of foot. 

Summing up, I’m going to put Lost and Running on top. His first up win proved he has come back in great shape, and his overall form is hard to look past. Bowman comes to Melbourne to partner him, he’s drawn nicely in the middle of the pack, and he drops 5kg off his first up win. If he can handle the Flemington straight (which I have no doubt he will), it’s going to take a very good horse to beat him here. 

Best Newmarket Handicap Tip: 3. Lost and Running – Win ($3.90)

If you need more news, information and tips, head over to our Newmarket Handicap page for all your punting needs!

*Odds correct at time of writing, courtesy of Dabble.

Tom has had a passion for the racing industry from the time he could talk. Wether it was at school, on smoko or in his own spare time, he always had his head in the form guide.He has worked hands on in the industry for years for some of Australia’s most highly regarded trainers. As a track rider, he has put the polish on some of the best horse flesh to grace the turf in recent years including the grey flash, Chautauqua, Golden slipper winner, Mossfun and sprinter-turned-sire, Deep Field to name a few.Tom has recently hung up the boots to focus solely on his punting and tipping services. With the objective of finding plenty of winners and value in the marketplace, you’ll be sure to have a fat wallet following his feature race previews.