Flemington Racing: 2017 Newmarket Handicap Betting Tips
Lexus Newmarket Handicap 1200m – Group 1
The Lexus Newmarket Handicap is one of two Group 1’s for Super Saturday at Flemington this weekend and shapes up to be an outstanding race for some of the country’s best sprinters.
Tactics will play a major part here and it will be interesting to see if the field stays as one or separates into two separate divisions. Given the inside section was probably the place to be last week it will be important to keep an eye on earlier races to see what the jockeys do.
There’s no doubt that Sheidel will lead them along but I’d expect Extreme Choice to be ridden more positively this week in order to use his tactical speed and avoid traffic. Illustrious Lad will be prominent along with Star Turn and Super Cash will be in the leading division too. Midfield division will be made up of Redkirk Warrior, Inspector, Tivaci and Spieth, while Terravista and Voodoo Lad will be worse than midfield. The typical backmarkers The Quarterback and Counterattack will settle at the back of the field.
Terravista returned to his brilliant best when taking out the Lightning Stakes over 1000m here, but he has a few things against him today. His first up record is far superior to his second up record for starters, and he is worse off at the weights here under handicap conditions compared to the weight-for-age conditions of the Lightning Stakes. He gives Spieth 1.5kg today, and he’ll also be needing cover early from barrier 12 to produce his devastating sprint. Having said that, he was better than them first up and you’d be brave to rule him out of this.
Spieth was desperately unlucky in the Lightning, just as he was in the Darley during the Spring. It appears only a matter of time before he breaks through at Group 1 level, and I suggest today is the day. He gets 1.5kg off Terravista here and more importantly, his trainer Bryce Heys said he was always aimed to be winning this race, so he will have improved from his first up run. I think he’ll be better suited at 1200m than 1000m and if he gets even an inch of luck from barrier 1, I think he’ll win.
Sheidel returned with an emphatic win in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate doing what she does best which is jump and roll. She will lead here and it will take a good horse to run her down. She’s won down the Flemington straight previously and if she is able to run it to suit her then she’ll be in this for a long, long way.
Extreme Choice gets a huge jockey change today: Craig Newitt off, Joao Moreira on. It literally doesn’t get any better than that. I think they’ll let him roll today to avoid copping interference like he did first up behind Sheidel. There is no question that he has the ability to win this, especially with 53kg on his back.
I think the value in the race will be Voodoo Lad. He comes into this first up where he has won 3 races from 4 starts. He’s never missed a place at the distance and you just know it would be very Darren Weir-like to win this with a horse at 25/1.
Spieth on top here from Extreme Choice.
2nd EXTREME CHOICE
4th VOODOO LAD
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