Newmarket Handicap Tips 2020 – Wide open race in store at Flemington
- Exceedance, Bivouac and Loving Gaby clash at Flemington
A wide open Group 1 sprint looks in store at Flemington on Saturday and our Newmarket Handicap tips assesses just who will come out on top.
The Newmarket features of rematch between three-year-olds Exceedance and Bivouac, who finished first and second in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) on Cup week at Flemington, as well as the third in that race Libertini.
Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) winner Gytrash will bid for the Flemington sprint double, while third in that race Loving Gaby will be out to turn the tables.
Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) runner-up Zoutori adds a further form line to the mix from a race in which Bivouac was sixth.
Exceedance and Bivouac clash again
Exceedance and Bivouac were two of the stars of the spring, their preparations culminating in a tussle in the Coolmore Stud Stakes that ultimately went the way of the Team Hawkes-trained Exceedance.
The son of Exceed And Excel held off Godolphin galloper Bivouac by 0.4 lengths in that Flemington feature to level their rivalry at 2-2.
Exceedance had won the Group 3 San Domenico Stakes (1100m) from Bivouac before finishing third in both the Group 2 Run To The Rose (1200m) and Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m), races James Cummings’ runner won.
That sets up this intriguing fifth meeting between the pair and bookmakers are struggling to separate them – although Bivouac could have the fitness edge having returned with a sixth placed effort in the Oakleigh Plate at Caulfield two weeks ago.
Also battling for favouritism for the Newmarket is three-year-old filly Loving Gaby, who is the choice of Craig Williams following her third place run in the Black Caviar Lightning.
That race was run by Gordon Richards’ South Australian sprinter Gytrash, who made it 3-3 at Flemington and seems to love running at headquarters.
Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra’s Zoutori, meanwhile, comes off a career-best effort when beaten by 0.5 lengths by Pippie in the Oakleigh Plate, while Tasmanian galloper The Invitable is back bidding for another successful interstate raid having won the Silver Eagle at Randwick last prep.
The Anthony Cummings-trained Libertini made a first start since finishing third in the Coolmore Stud Stakes, and the three-year-old filly should strip fitter for a fourth place run behind Flit in the Group 2 Light Finger Stakes (1200m), a race in which she started as the $1.80 favourite.
Who will win the Newmarket Handicap?
We should have a bit of a treat in store with cases to be made for Exceedance, Bivouac and Loving Gaby, all of which could start as favourite on Saturday.
Bivouac has the fitness edge over old foe Exceedance, but was beaten when they met at Flemington. Loving Gaby, meanwhile, has a second and third from her two visits to the track.
Gytrash might just be able to sneak under the radar a little on Saturday. He has top weight to contend with, but there might be more to come after the Lightning Stakes win as he prepares to jump from the same gate (barrier 2) he won from two weeks ago.