The Newmarket Handicap (1200m) takes place at Flemington Racecourse annually in March and is arguably Australia’s greatest sprint race.
With a $1million prize fund, it attracts the country’s best sprinters and is accompanied by the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) on what is known as Melbourne’s ‘Super Saturday’ of racing.
Other races on Super Saturday include the Group 2 Blamey Stakes (1600m), Group 2 VRC Sires Produce Stakes (1400m), Group 2 Kewney Stakes (1400m), Group 3 Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes (1200m) and the Group 3 Matron Stakes (1600m).
Horses that compete in the Newmarket Handicap may have contested the Group 1 Lightning Stakes (1000m) or the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at their previous start.
The illustrious honour roll lists the who’s who of Australian sprinters and in recent times Newmarket Handicap winners have travelled to the UK to compete at Royal Ascot.
Scenic Blast 2009 (King's Stand), Miss Andretti 2007 (King's Stand,), Takeover Target 2006 (King's Stand), and Black Caviar 2011 (Diamond Jubilee) have all travelled half-way around the world and franked the Australian sprinting form.
Other former winners of the Newmarket Handicap include Malua (1884), Wakeful (1901), Heroic (1926), Ajax (1938), Bernborough (1946), Baguette (1971), Placid Ark (1987), Schillaci (1992) General Nediym (1998), Exceed And Excel (2004), Alinghi (2005), Weekend Hussler (2008), Hay List (2012) and Shamexpress (2013).
Four horses in the history of the event have won the Newmarket Handicap twice with Aspen (1880-81), Gothic (1927-28), Correct (1960-61) and Razor Sharp (1982-83) achieving the rare feat.