Newmarket Handicap Betting Tips - How does history help us find the winner?

  • Horses aged three have a great record in the Newmarket Handicap
  • The Lightning Stakes is usually a great guide to this race
Hay List nailed Buffering right on the line in a classic edition of the Newmarket Handicap in 2012

The Newmarket Handicap (1200m) has long been considered Australia's premier sprint race and its honour roll features some of the best. 

Black Caviar, Miss Andretti and Takeover Target are modern day winners of the Newmarket, while Bernborough, Ajax and Wakeful are among some of the champions from yesteryear that have claimed victory in the Flemington straight six. Redkirk Warrior is the most recent winner, claiming the race in 2018, his second win in the Flemington Group 1 after scoring in 2017. 

Looking at the trends of the race since the year 2000, there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to picking a winner in the $1.25 million Group 1. 

The Handicap conditions of the race have provided a mix of gallopers to have won the event. Hay List claimed the time-honoured classic with 58.5kg in 2012, while at the other end of the weight scale, Rubitano saluted with 51kg in 2002. 

This year, Redkirk Warrior and Santa Ana Lane head the weights with 58.5kg, while at the other end of the scale in the 23 horse field it is the three-year-old, Lean Mean Machine, that has been allotted 50kg, slightly less than the filly, Sunlight, who has 50.5kg. 

That duo, along with Encryption, Graff and Zousain, are all aged three and it is interesting to note that horses in this age group have an excellent record in this race in recent years. 

Seven of the past 15 winners were three when they won, including Brazen Beau, who romped home for Chris Waller in 2015, while the likes of Exceed And Excel (2004), Alinghi (2005) and Weekend Hussler (2008) all scored at that age. Sunlight is the only filly in this year's crop and will be out to join Alinghi and Miss Pennymoney (2000m) as the girls to win since 2000. 

The favourite in early markets is Osborne Bulls, who has been posted at $4.60 in early markets with sportsbet. The Godolphin galloper will be attempting to end a slight hoodoo for popular elects as none have won since 2012 when Hay List lobbed as a $3.75 chance. Hay List's performance came one year after the mighty Black Caviar scored at the prohibitive odds of $1.18.  

In the 19-year period since the year 2000, The average starting price of the winners has been $9.50. Graff ($9) and Sunlight ($10) are close to that figure this year. Following them in the market are Santa Ana Lane and Eduardo at $11, Zousain ($13), In Her Time ($14), while Booker, Encryption and Brave Smash (all $17) head the rest. 

An interesting stat is that seven of the past eight winners have drawn in the second half of the field, including Redkirk Warrior, who drew 15 of 15 last year. This year Graff (20), Eduardo (21), Osborne Bulls (22) and Brave Smash (23) are among those that have drawn out. 

Because of their association with Redkirk Warrior, the Hayes/Dabernig are the most successful trainers in this race this millennium alongside Peter Moody and Lee Freedman, who have also saddled up two winners in the Newmarket since 2000. The Hayes/Dabernig team will be going for a hat-trick with Redkirk Warrior, who is the sole representative from the stable this year. 

On the jockey’s front, those to have won the Newmarket on multiple occasions since 2000 are Regan Bayliss, Luke Nolen, Damien Oliver and Craig Newitt. Of those hoops. Nolen is on Redkirk Warrior and Oliver is on Brave Smash. 

Finally, the ideal lead up form to the Newmarket has been either the Lightning Stakes (1000m) or the Oakleigh Plate (1100m), with the past 10 winners coming out of either of those two Group 1 lead ups. 

Five of the past seven winners have come out of the Lightning. Redkirk Warrior won that last year but was first up in 2017. was first up. This year, the Lightning was claimed by In Her Time, who held on from Osborne Bulls and Sunlight. Booker claimed the Oakleigh Plate from Encryption and Eduardo. 

Selection based on trends: 

The trends point to a three-year-old winning and it is Sunlight and Encryption that tick plenty of boxes. Of that duo, Encryption gets the nod as he has drawn further out. 

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