Newmarket Handicap Tips and Top Selections
With the Newmarket Handicap taking place over the Straight Six at Flemington Racecourse each year it gives trainers the chance to compete for big money before the main racing action switches from Melbourne to Sydney.
The Newmarket Handicap is one of the oldest races in Australia with its origins dating back to 1874 where its first ever running was won by Maid of Avenel.
In more recent years some big names have tackled the 1200m sprint with the likes of Takeover Target, Weekend Hustler, Exceed and Excel and the great Black Caviar all taking out editions of the Newmarket.
Black Caviar in particular was a big name winner of the race having already won the Lightning Stakes in the same year and remains one of a handful of runners to do the double. She also holds the race record for the Newmarket Handicap after setting a time of 1:07.36 back in 2011.
Roll forward to 2022 where there was an absolute boilover in the race as 100/1 shot Roch N’ Horse travelled across the ditch from New Zealand to take out the Group One feature. It’s unlikely we’ll see the same again this year with some of the best sprinting talent in Australia set to line up in the Flemington Sprint feature.
2023 Newmarket Handicap Race Overview
This could be possibly one of the most exciting editions of the Newmarket Handicap we have seen in recent years with some of the best sprinting talent in the country on show at Flemington on Saturday afternoon.
Race favourite I Wish I Win has drifted slightly since finishing second in the Group One Lighting Stakes behind Coolangatta. Opening at $4.20 he has moved out slightly to $4.50 but remains clear favourite for the race.
Hot on the heels of the Peter Moody Runner is Godolphin sprint star In Secret who sits at $5 in betting for the 1200m Newmarket. In Secret had his colours lowered last time out in the Group One Surround Stakes however is likely to enjoy getting back to 1200m here.
Regular faces at the race track September Run, Bella Nipotina and Private Eye all head back to the racetrack in order to try and claim a share of the $1.5m prize money on offer for the 150 year old handicap race.
Of the rest of the field Roch ‘N’ Horse returns to defend his title at $31. Front Page for trainer Geoff Duryea has received strong backing through the week shifting from $35 into $18 and Mazu returns to the track looking to recapture his form after a strong Spring campaign.
2023 Newmarket Handicap Top Selections and Best Bet
The Newmarket Handicap looks to be one of the most open Sprint races of the Autumn with a number of chances staking claims on the race. We pick out our outside bet, main danger and best bet for the 1200m Sprint Feature.
Newmarket Handicap Outside Bet - 2. Mazu
Trainer - Peter & Paul Snowden
Price - $15.00
Mazu returns to action for the Snowdens here and at $15 presents some great value in the 2023 Newmarket Handicap.
He had a massive Spring campaign when featuring in a number of big Group One races during the first half of the season which also included a run in the TAB Everest where he finished third, less than a length behind Giga Kick.
Mazu has a 50% strike rate when first up so we know he goes well fresh. He returns here carrying 57kgs which is 1.5kg down from when he last met Private Eye and the majority of this field through the Spring.
The Snowden runner trailed well at Rosehill in February and has solid form around some big names in the sprinting world so at the $15 presents excellent value for money and well worth an each way bet for those looking outside of the single figure runners.
Newmarket Handicap Main Danger - 3. I Wish I Win
Trainer - Peter Moody
Price - $4.50
The son of Make A Wish has been growing with each run for the Moody stable and it has not gone unnoticed by the punters.
I Wish I Win was eye catching when flying late to finish a neck behind Coolangatta in the Group One Lightning Stakes when carrying 58.5kg. He finds himself 2kgs better of for that run and is likely to enjoy the extra distance.
The only nagging issue is that I Wish I Win tends to go best when fresh with 3 wins from 5 starts first up compared to 1 win from 4 starts when second up. There’s no doubt he’ll enjoy the distance but this is also his toughest test to date.
There's clearly a buzz around I Wish I Win having received enough votes to win a slot in the $5m All Star Mile. Moody has been quick to rule him out of competing at the mile in favour of focusing on sprint racing. If he turns up with his A-game I Wish I Win will be right in the finish however it depends how keen he is on the day.
2023 Newmarket Handicap Best Bet - 15. In Secret
Trainer - James Cummings
Price - $5.00
When we did the top pick for the Surround Stakes we didn’t have In Secret on top as we didn’t feel like she enjoyed the 1400m. She finished third on that day whereas the last time we saw her at Flemington over the 1200m she took out the Group One Coolmore Stud Stakes.
Her form suggests she’s at her limit over 1400m with between 1000m and 1200m right in her wheelhouse. She won the TAB Lightfingers over 1200m at Randwick earlier in this prep and looked to be back to her best on that occasion.
Back to 1200m at the Flemington Straight Track is right up her street and with Jamie Kah set to continue to ride is another big positive for the three year old.
The big thing when meeting the older horse is the drop in weight. Carrying just 51.5kgs that maps for her to fly down the straight and power over the line in front.
In Secret is definitely a talented filly and with everything looking to line up in her favour we think she’ll be too strong against the older horses.
Back In Secret to win