There will be 16 runners doing battle down the famous Flemington straight in the A$1.5 million Group 1 Newmarket Handicap this Saturday, with Roch ‘N’ Horse looking to become only the second horse ever to go back-to-back in the race.
The online bookmakers’ favourite going into this year’s edition of the 1200m feature is the star Peter Moody gelding I Wish I Win, who flashed home at the end of the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning over 1000m last start to indicate that the six furlongs will be perfect for the 2022 Golden Eagle winner.
Coolmore Stud Stakes winner In Secret will be tackling a Group 1 handicap against the older horses for the first time in her eight-start career, and along with Buenos Noches these two three-year-old fillies can give this race a fair shake with 51.5kg and 50.5kg, respectively.
After winning the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes down the Flemington straight for the first time, Private Eye – who also ran second in The Everest – will be carrying the top weight of 58kg.
Of the local hopes we have Lofty Strike, who won the Group 2 Rubiton Stakes first-up before going on to finish runner-up in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate, as well as Star Patrol, although he has to show that he can match it with the Group 1 sprinters after he finished sixth in the Oakleigh last start.
One of the runners that will be on notice for many punters will be the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Mazu, who will be first-up in the Newmarket coming off a strong spring campaign where he finished in the placings at his last three starts in the Group 2 Premiere Stakes, The Everest and Winners Stakes, after winning the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 in May last year.