Newmarket Handicap 2023
Distance: 1200m | Conditions: Open Handicap | Rail Position: True | Track Condition: Good 4
What a field we have here for the Newmarket Handicap down the straight at Flemington. Track should be perfect with clear weather and good conditions leading in. Let’s try and find the winner.
Big field so they could easily split in two with half on the outside fence and the other half on the inside rail. Snapper, Front Page, The Astrologist all likely to try lead. On speed runners should include Roch ‘n’ Horse, In Secret, Mazu and Chain of Lightning. A big clump chasing them but every runner should be able to get their chance. Expect Baller, Lofty Strike and Buenos Noches to be somewhere near the back.
1. Private Eye
The clear class runner here off an incredible Spring Campaign. First up will be no issue if his run in the Gilgai last Spring is any indication. I’m not sure you’d want to be taking anything less than the current $8 for him to win this with clearly bigger goals in mind. Anywhere near his best, can blow them away and is a clear top hope but the reward isn’t great enough for the risk. $10 would get me.
Love this horse. Brilliant Spring campaign with placings behind Giga Kick, Private Eye and Lost and Running. This is a big task first up, with plenty of weight and the wide barrier but the outside may suit. This looks just a little bit beyond him but is a clear market watch and one to follow as we get deeper into the Autumn. Can win if he has come on.
3. I Wish I Win
The favourite. Was an unbelievable run first up in the Black Caviar and looks to have untapped potential. Will require a good ride from Luke Nolen however, because some of these sprinters can get away very quickly. Think $4 is just about rock bottom for a race with so many chances and was happy to just let him run around without me. Looks the hardest to beat however.
4. Roch ‘n’ Horse
Won it last year at $101. Never looked likely last start but clearly thrives at Flemington down the straight. Odds fair to shock the world again, but watch the betting late.
Only 7th in his return in the Black Caviar but was a fair enough run behind some serious sprinters. Started slow there. Shinn from Zahra is no loss. Big odds to place and not the worst bet you’d have in the world.
6. Bella Nipotina
Terrific run in the Black Caviar and flew home for some of the fastest sectionals of the whole meeting. Seems to ride well when finding cover so expect to be hidden until very late for a bursting run. Has a history of being very well backed late, so watch the market. Winning chance.
7. September Run
Her last run really sums up where she’s at. Competitive, always there abouts, but just no match late for the top tier sprinters. Fair odds to produce something similar once again but simply could not tip her.
8. The Astrologist
2nd in this race last year. Was nowhere near it last start in the Oakleigh plate after a poor beginning. Does love the straight and is capable of putting in a big run but the odds look fair for him to do so.
9. Lofty Strike
Has a 1st over Uncommon James and a most recent 2nd to him which reads pretty good for this. Will be super fit and running on very well late. Just a query on the map? Looks to get back again, and won’t have company when he’s sprinting home hard. Can win, looks a fair price.
UNCOMMON JAMES SALUTES IN THE OAKLEIGH PLATE!
— 7HorseRacing 🐎 (@7horseracing) February 25, 2023
10. Chain of Lightning
Been well in the market the last two starts and has shown very little. Meech is an interesting booking, sign of intent to go more forward? Would need to improve to win and even at $20, looked unders at that price.
11. Front Page
Resuming, not seen since the Champions Sprint. Needs to improve a fair way to win a race like this, but has upside. Fair odds but can place.
Does already have a win down the straight this prep. Will be on speed, and can run well but looks a bit outclassed in this field.
13. Star Patrol
A fair enough run in the Oakleigh Plate. Chased home well and was deep throughout. His consistency will ensure he runs well here but hard to see him produce a figure that wins the race.
14. Swats That
Was ok late in her return at Randwick a few weeks ago. Would need a fair few
to fail to be in the finish here. Can’t see it.
15. In Secret
Was a horror watch last start. Didn’t get out to 200m to go, looked the winner with 50m to go, and just got nosed out. Love the jockey switch to Jamie Kah. No issue down the straight, winning the Coolmore last Spring. Will be on speed, fit horse and has a lethal turn of foot. With a few bigger targets in store for the class horses in this, this looks a great opportunity for her. Big winning chance and good odds to back.
16. Buenos Noches
Just out sprinted in the Black Caviar but will be fitter now. Ben Thompson is an interesting jockey change, no negative in my view. Only issue is he’s always near the back of the field, so will probably need a quick tempo up front to suit. Can win, no value in the price.
Obviously a very competitive race with many runners capable of big figures and the class horses resuming. Going to stick with In Secret who has the low weight and will be very hard to crack late if anywhere on speed.