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2019 Newmarket Handicap Runners - Runner-by-runner guide for the Newmarket Handicap

  • 22 sprinters contest the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) 
  • Our runner-by-runner guide
2018 Newmarket Handicap

22 sprinters will contest the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington in what is sure to be an incredible race.

See our runner-by-runner guide.

1. REDKIRK WARRIOR (19) - David & B Hayes & T Dabernig, Luke Nolen, 58.5kg 
Redkirk Warrior is trying to win three consecutive Newmarket Handicaps, having won the race in 2017 & 2018. The fact that he is now a $27 chance shows just how open this race is. He has raced well without luck this preparation and he is going better than his form suggests. The concern is, the Lindsay Park stable had set him for the All-Star Mile not the Newmarket this year. Is he sharp enough over 1200m? Almost 30/1 seems a fair price to find out.
Odds: $26.00 (Sportsbet

2. SANTA ANA LANE (10) - Anthony Freedman, Ben Melham, 58.5kg
A four-time Group One winner and a serious case can be made to say Santa Ana Lane is the best sprinter in the country. I thought his recent jumpout at Balnarring was fair at best behind the stablemate Shoals. He is better horse with a run under his belt and his grand final isn’t for another month, in the T.J. Smith up in Sydney. His recent first-up performances wouldn’t come close to winning this race but the stable has mentioned he is more forward this preparation and he obviously has the ability but I’m willing to take him on at the price.
Odds: $11.00 (TAB)
3. BRAVE SMASH (23) - Kris Lees, Damien Oliver, 57kg 
Brave Smash loomed as the winner two starts ago at Caulfield in the C.F Orr, he ran the second-fastest 400m-200m split of the race but just ran out of fitness late. The blinkers went on last start in the Futurity Stakes (1400m) and he never got a crack at them, being blocked for a run for the vast majority of the straight. Would he have beaten Alizee? Who knows. The horse is flying but the concern is stepping back to 1200m down the Flemington straight, others are likely to be sharper than him. 
Odds: $21.00 (Unibet

4. OSBORNE BULLS (22) - James Cummings, Hugh Bowman, 56kg 
The first 400m of the race is important for him, if the horses split down the straight then he is a winning chance… If they don’t and all horses go towards the outside fence then It’s going to be extremely tricky for Hugh Bowman to find a run. He had the flashing light run last start in the Lightning Stakes and people will be saying he was ‘unlucky not to win’ and will be improved over 1200m. I disagree, I thought he got the perfect setup there in the Lightning, as Sunlight went out quickly in the early stages but then slowed the speed right down, as they went 4.5 lengths slower than class benchmark to the 600m. This allowed Osborne Bulls to blend into the race without expending too much energy. He seems poisonious odds at around the $4.00 quote.
Odds: $4.60 (TAB)

5. VOODOO LAD (5) - Ciaron Maher & David Eustace, Mark Zahra, 56kg 
I thought his first-up run in the Rubiton Stakes (1100m) was full of merit, running the quickest lat 200m of the race behind Nature Strip. He flies second-up and if the gaps open up over the final 100m, there are worse $71 chances going around on Saturday.
Odds: $71.00 (Bet365

6. IN HER TIME (16) - Kris Lees, Corey Brown, 55.5kg 
It was a terrific ride from Group 1 Corey Brown last start in the Lightning Stakes, getting her in a perfect position from barrier one and that won her the race. She was terrific over 1200m down the straight in the VRC Sprint Classic over the Spring, running a close-up second behind Santa Ana Lane, running 15 lengths above benchmark. With fitness on her side, a repeat of that performance will see her right in the finish here. She is drawn in the right part of the track and maps to get an almost perfect run.
Odds: $12.00 (Beteasy

8. DOTHRAKI (1) - Peter & Paul Snowden, Damien Lane, 54.5kg 
Not here, $101 and I had him priced more than triple that. 
Odds: $101 (TAB

9. BOOKER (6) - Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra, Dean Yendall, 53kg 
She was given a terrific ride from Dean Yendall to beat Eduardo and Encryption in the Oakleigh Plate (1100m) last start. Not taking anything away from her win but she did have the perfect run in the race and I thought the runs of the placegetters had more merit. If Booker can win back-to-back Group One races I’ll be surprised, although her figure of 19.1 lengths above benchmark was outstanding.
Odds: $26.00 (TAB

10. WHISPERING BROOK (13) - Simon A Miller, Jye McNeil, 52.5kg 
She got the perfect set up to win a Group Two race two starts ago in the Australia Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley. I think that win flattered her slightly and I doubt she is up these elite Group One sprinters. 
Odds: $51.00 (Unibet

11. BONS AWAY (4) - Ciaron Maher & David Eustace, Linda Meech, 52kg 
If you like Osborne Bulls, you must have a saver on Bons Away. He was charging at Osborne Bulls over the final 100m at this track and distance on Derby Day. He returned with a terrific victory against Written By and his run in the Oakleigh Plate behind Booker and Eduardo was full of merit. Plenty of luck will be needed from barrier four but I wouldn’t be surprised if he can fill a placing with the right run in transit.
Odds: $31.00 (Unibet

12. CHAMPAGNE CUDDLES (18) - Bjorn Baker, Jamie Kah, 52kg 
She couldn’t beat Belwazi down the straight first-up before going back to Sydney and just doing enough to get over the top of Cool Passion at Warwick Farm. The blinkers go on first-time but she would have to improve significantly on her last-start seventh to be in the finish here.
Odds: $71.00 (TAB

13. DIVINE QUALITY (2) - Robbie Griffiths, Beau Mertens, 52kg 
She ran some really nice figures to win the Group 3 Furphy Sprint (1200m), three-lengths quicker than class benchmark for the final 600m and defeated Oakleigh Plate winner Booker and I Am Excited. I thought her return in the Lightning Stakes was good. My concern was Beau Mertens from barrier two, that seems a tough task. 
Odds: $51.00 (TAB

14. EDUARDO (21) - Sarah Zschoke, Brian Park, 52kg 
I’m happy to be with EDUARDO again. I was on him in the Oakleigh Plate and it was a huge run. He sat three-wide no cover on a hot speed set up by Nature Strip. He went 10.6 lengths quicker benchmark for the first 500m of the race and when the other speed horses in the race including Nature Strip were folding, he was still kicking out in front. The positive sign for me was, despite his tough run, he still ran 2.5 lengths faster than Group One average for his final 600m.. That’s the sign of a class horse. My small knock is, he is second-up, two weeks between runs off a gut buster so there is a chance he’s flat but at $10 I’m happy to find out. 
Odds: $9.50 (TAB

15. GLENALL (8) - Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes, Dean Holland, 52kg 
He was good, beating home Champagne Cuddles first-up in the listed Kensington Stakes (1000m). The obvious issue is, he couldn’t beat Belwazi home and was then towelled up in the Lightning Stakes, not here.
Odds: $126.00 (TAB)

16. I’LL HAVE A BIT (11) - John McArdle, Ben Thompson, 52kg 
I’ll have a spell if I’ll Have A Bit wins. His last victory came when $151 as she somehow defeated She’s So High in the Euclase Stakes in Adelaide.
Odds: $91.00 (Unibet

17. MISSROCK (15) - Robbie Laing, Stephen Baster, 52kg 
No, should be $301 or longer.
Odds: $71.00 (TAB

18. USAIN BOWLER (14) - John Sadler, Patrick Moloney, 52kg
The four-year-old son of So You Think has a booming finish on him when he gets the race set up for him. He will need a terrific ride to be anywhere near the finish and I doubt that Patrick Moloney is the man for the job. 
Odds: $71.00 (Beteasy

19. ENCRYPTION (17) - James Cummings, Rachel King, 51kg
He looked outstanding in the Mounting yard before the Oakleigh Plate (1100m) and he ran accordingly, flashing home for second behind Booker at a huge price. His last 600m was terrific, running it 7.4 lengths quicker than the group one benchmark. I was very keen to back him each-way but the jockey change from Craig Williams to Rachel King is a big negative. I’ll still have something small each-way but with nowhere near as much confidence. 
Odds: $21.00 (Sportsbet

20. GRAFF (20) - Kris Lees, William Pike, 51kg 
The three-year-old Star Witness colt is still untapped. I loved his first-up run in the Lightning Stakes and thought it was as good, if not better than Osborne Bulls. Kris Lees mentioned 1000m was always going to be too sharp for him and that proved to be the case. I loved his work too and past the line, looking at the overhead footage he is charging through the line.
I’ve spent the last 15 minutes trying to figure out of Tommy Berry to William Pike is a positive jockey change. On one hand you have the fact that he is an elite jockey who can ride at 51kg, on the other hand, he is a Perth jockey riding in a big Group One up the Flemington straight. Regardless of the jockey, Graff must be considered a leading chance. 
Odds: $10.00 (Unibet

21. ZOUSAIN (12) - Chris Waller, Craig Williams, 51kg 
I concede that Zousain is a talent and is right in this on type but I just question his heart and will to win. He overraced and didn’t help himself first-up but I thought he was entitled to find the line better than what he did. I couldn’t possibly back him.
Odds: $17.00 (Unibet

22. SUNLIGHT (9) - Tony McEvoy, Barend Vorster, 50.5kg 
She beat the boys (Zousain and Lean Mean Machine) in the Coolmore Stud Stakes in the Spring and an argument could be made that she almost should've won the Manikato Stakes against the likes of Brave Smash. I didn’t love the ride from Luke Currie first-up in the Lightning, although he was riding the horse for this race. He led and dropped anchor in front, I thought he should’ve rolled along and not let the likes of Osborne Bulls get so close in the run. I’m expecting improvement here but still think Graff has her covered. 
Odds: $12.00 (Unibet)

23. LEAN MEAN MACHINE (3) - Chris Waller, Michael Dee, 50kg 
I thought at the price, Lean Mean Machine was big unders. I have him as my fifth-top rater of the three-year-olds in this race, which is a concern with only five three-year-olds in the race. The step up to 1200m will suit but I thought his first-up run in the Lightning Stakes left plenty to be desired. 
Odds: $26.00 (Unibet)

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2019 Newmarket Handicap Runners - Runner-by-runner guide for the Newmarket Handicap

22 sprinters will contest the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington in what is sure to be an incredible race.

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