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The 2023 Group 1 Newmarket Handicap takes place this Saturday down Flemington’s iconic straight six (1200m). The time-honoured contest is considered by many as one of the majors on the Australian racing calendar, and with $1.5 million in prize money up for grabs, it has attracted some of the best sprinters from around the country, as it invariably does.
Looking at the market, Dabble has last start Lightning Stakes runner-up, I Wish I Win, a drifting favourite at $4.20, ahead of Godolphin’s star three-year-old filly, In Secret, who has been well supported into $5.00. Private Eye and Lofty Strike are next best in the market, currently $7.50 and $8.00 respectively.
As anyone who follows horse racing would know, anything can happen in this great game and the Flemington straight can throw up some unorthodox results. So, we have dissected each of the horses’ chances for you and provided our horse racing tips! Read on below to find our runner by runner preview of the 2023 Newmarket Handicap along with The Shark’s best tips.
1. Private Eye (2) – $7.50
Jockey – Brenton Avdulla 58kg
Trainer – Joseph Pride
Explosive galloper who resumes here off the back of a couple of quiet trials. Blew his rivals away first up last prep at this track/trip before going down a half length in The Everest. Will let the early speed go and have the last shot. Major player despite carrying top weight.
2. Mazu (16) – $15
Jockey – Sam Clipperton 57kg
Trainer – Peter & Paul Snowden
Another who resumes here with strong formlines. Was beaten just under a length in The Everest before chasing Private Eye home in the Winners Stakes at the end of last prep. Recent trial was good and he’s a two time winner fresh. First go down the straight here but cannot be overlooked.
The Newmarket Handicap should be one of the great betting races every year. Sprint race, which is what Australian racing predominantly is, run as a handicap, with a big field at most popular track. Should be marketed heavily as one of the great betting opportunities for punters.
— Shane Anderson (@Globalgallop) March 8, 2023
3. I Wish I Win (14) – $4.20F
Jockey – Luke Nolen 56.5kg
Trainer – Peter G Moody
Has been the talk of the town since his eye-catching first up run in the Lightning Stakes three weeks ago, where he smashed the clock late. The added trip here suits, despite his better form being over further than 1200m, and he’s yet to miss a place from four goes second up. Will get back early and be saved for one crack at them. Looks the one to beat if he can repeat his first up performance.
4. Roch ‘N’ Horse (3) – $31
Jockey – Jamie Mott 55.5kg
Trainer – Michael Moroney
Winner of this race last year who got a pass mark when resuming in the Oakleigh Plate a fortnight ago. This race looks far more suitable and she gets in well at the weights. Has taken some big scalps at this track/trip in the past and no reason she can’t build on that record here. Respect.
5. Baller (13) – $31
Jockey – Blake Shinn 55kg
Trainer – Tony Gollan
Queensland galloper who was sound first up in the Lightning Stakes after a slow getaway. Will appreciate the step up to 1200m here and has a great record down the straight, including a Group 2 win and a Group 1 placing behind Roch ‘N’ Horse and Nature Strip last Spring. The wide draw suits and he will appreciate the weight relief. Definite each-way chance.
6. Bella Nipotina (1) – $15
Jockey – Craig Williams 54.5kg
Trainer – Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
Ran her typical honest race first up in the Lightning Stakes, when finishing third to stablemate Coolangatta. Should be cherry ripe second up here and Williams sticks. Yet to win from six goes at Flemington and the inside draw are the query’s but rarely runs a bad race.
7. September Run (11) – $26
Jockey – Jye McNeil 54kg
Trainer – Chris Waller
Showed positive signs first up in the Lightning where she looked the winner at the furlong. Finished third in this race last year and has run well on other occasions down the straight. Three time winner second up and should be all the fitter for that first up hitout. Not without a hope.
Wide open affair in the Newmarket
Handicap this time around! The Peter Moody-trained I
Wish I Win opens up at the top of the market, but is he
a lock to remain there? 🔐
Who do you have on top in the Newmarket? 👆 pic.twitter.com/GvYdfim1uP
— Unibet Australia (@UNIBETAustralia) March 8, 2023
8. The Astrologist (15) – $41
Jockey – Damian Lane 54kg
Trainer – Leon & Troy Corstens
Runner-up in this race last year who was slow out first up in the Oakleigh Plate and never got into the race. Another who will appreciate the step up in trip and has a brilliant record down the straight. Look for an improved showing.
9. Lofty Strike (12) – $8.00
Jockey – Craig Newitt 52.5kg
Trainer – Julius Sandhu
Lightly raced colt who was super first up in the Rubiton before chasing hard into second place in the Oakleigh Plate last time out. Ran well down the straight in the Coolmore last prep and was beaten just 1L in the VRC Classic at the end of his campaign. Fair to say he’s come back a bigger and better horse and looks very hard to beat under the handicap conditions. Big show.
10. Chain Of Lightning (6) – $23
Jockey – Linda Meech 52kg
Trainer – Peter G Moody
Didn’t have much room first up in the Rubiton and hit the line hard when clear before an even effort in the Oakleigh Plate last start. Rise in trip suits and is a winner down the straight. Needs to find a bit on her most recent effort but can easily run into the money on her form prior.
11. Front Page (7) – $21
Jockey – Patrick Moloney 52kg
Trainer – Geoff Duryea
Corowa trained sprinter who was beaten just 1.5L in the VRC Classic at the end of last prep. Has a brilliant fresh record and is a winner down the straight at 1200m. Others appear to have stronger form on paper but he will get out of the boxes hard and give a sight on speed.
12. Snapper (4) – $81
Jockey – Michael Poy 52kg
Trainer – Michael Moroney
Speedy type who is a two time winner down the straight, albeit at weaker level than most of these. This looks his biggest test to date but will get rolling early from the low draw and try to run them off their legs with no weight on his back.
— Racing.com (@Racing) March 6, 2023
13. Star Patrol (10) – $18
Jockey – Damien Thornton 52kg
Trainer – Clinton McDonald
Good win first up at Sandown over 1000m before warming up late in the Oakleigh Plate. Step up to 1200m looks ideal now and he gets a set of visors on for the first time. Flemington record is solid and can run a race under the light weight. Each-way hope.
14. Swats That (5) – $51
Jockey – Daniel Moor 52kg
Trainer – Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
Ran well first up at Randwick under the big weight, albeit behind far less superior opposition to what she will face here. Wasn’t beaten far in this race last year and is a three time Group 1 placegetter down the straight. Place chance at odds.
15. In Secret (8) – $5.00
Jockey – Jamie Kah 51.5kg
Trainer – James Cummings
Too good for her rivals first up in the Light Fingers at Randwick before racing a little bit flat second up in the Surround Stakes. Demolished a smart field her only go this track/trip in the Coolmore last Spring and gets in light here. Will stalk the speed from the middle draw and be right in the mix the last 200.
16. Buenos Noches (9) – $12
Jockey – Ben Thompson 50.5kg
Trainer – Matthew Smith
Found the line well first up in the Lightning and has since trialled well at Warwick Farm. Step up to six furlong is a big positive and despite being lightly raced is a professional down the straight, where he’s run Giga Kick to a nostril. Another who will stalk the speed from the middle gate and be hard to hold out late in the race. Don’t overlook.
Terrific race here with some of the country’s best and most progressive sprinters lining up. Think the three-year-olds will take a lot of beating at the weights and with that said, happy to go with Lofty Strike on top.
— Jeremy Bullock (@LuckyTips6) March 6, 2023
His first up win in the Group 2 Rubiton was excellent, smashing the clock late, before coming from the clouds in the Oakleigh Plate last start to finish second. He was beaten just 1L in the Group 1 VRC Classic at the end of last prep and looks to have come back far better this preparation. Will be charging late under the 52.5kg and looks a great each-way bet for mine.
Sticking with the three-year-olds and feel Buenos Noches and In Secret are the main dangers. Both gallopers are well performed down the Flemington straight and have come back in good order this prep. Both are drawn middle draws and should get a lovely trail into the race and be strong late.
Speaking of powerful finishes, I Wish I Win and Private Eye are the two gallopers who will get back and charge home. The Moody trained, I Wish I Win, was excellent first up in the Group 1 Lightning and a repeat performance would see him hard to hold out here. Just think the price on offer for a proven 1400/miler is a bit skinny, whilst Private Eye needs to overcome a low draw and top weight, but is more than capable of winning this fresh.
For those taking trifectas and first fours it may pay to include Queensland galloper, Baller. His first up run in the Lightning was solid after stepping away slowly and he loves the Flemington/1200m, where he’s a Group 2 winner and has been Group 1 placed.
Newmarket Handicap Tip
9. Lofty Strike – Each-way ($8.00/$2.75)
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*Odds correct at time of writing, courtesy of Dabble.