Genuine 4-legged horsepower at Flemington and mechanical horsepower at Albert Park – it’s certainly a Super weekend of sport in Melbourne. And while the worlds best drivers chase championship points in the Aussie F1 GP – the world’s best sprinters chase a million dollars in prizemoney at Flemington in the time honoured Newmarket Handicap. The 2015 edition of the famous ‘straight six’ has brought together Lankan Rupee, Terravista and Chautauqua – in what’s shaping as a hot race.
The G1 Newmarket Handicap is set to jump at 3:50pm (AEDT)! Tune into Sky Racing for all the action!
Lankan Rupee, who beat Spirit Of Boom and Knoydart in winning the race last year, is back to defend his title – and he’s right back to his best too, judging by his brilliant first up win in the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes. Mick Price’s five year old settled just off the pace and then put them away in a stride or two when Craig Newitt went through the gears. The stable says he’s thrived since, he loves straight racing and he’s never missed a place second up (winning twice), so he looks hard to beat again at $3.10 Fixed with TAB.com.au.
Chautauqua ($3) has also had one run this prep and while he didn’t look completely comfortable at Caulfield, he still managed to win the Group 2 Rubiton, producing his customary powerful finishing burst from eighth of ten on the turn. He will appreciate the return to the Flemington straight where he was so good in the Spring, winning two before a close second to Terravista in the Darley Classic.
Check the full TAB.com.au market for the G1 Newmarket Handicap here.
That brings me to Joe Pride’s star, who’s drawn the pole and tackles this first up off two Warwick Farm barrier trials. In his first, Hugh Bowman never released the brakes and he finished 9th of 9. Bowman asked more of him in his second and he produced a nice finish after sitting three deep throughout, to zoom past Va Pensiero (2nd to Miracles of Life in the Challenge Stakes last weekend) and Rain Affair. While history is against horses resuming in this race (Polycrates was the last to win it fresh in 1917), Terravista ($5.50) is unbeaten in four first up attempts.
Brazen Beau ($5) looks the only threat to the Big Three. He was quite good first up when second to Lankan Rupee and he gets 6.5kgs off him this time around. Oh, and he’s got a bloke called Joao Moreira in the cockpit!
My selections for the Newmarket are: Chautauqua to beat Lankan Rupee, Brazen Beau and Terravista.
The other Group One on Super Saturday is the Australian Cup over the 2000 metres. 16 have paid up – including a couple of Melbourne Cup stars in three-times runner-up Red Cadeaux and last year’s winner Protectionist.
Red Cadeaux ($11 fixed at TAB.com.au) is in the vintage class (a 9 year old) and is having his first ever Autumn run in Melbourne. The other queries with him are that he’s never won anywhere in the world below 2400 metres and he’s none from nine first up (although with all the jetsetting he’s done, read into that what you like!).
The G1 Australian Cup is set to jump at 4:30pm (AEDT). Catch all the action on Sky Racing!
Protectionist ($5) is also on the fresh side, having had just the one run this prep. To my eye, he didn’t really enjoy Caulfield nor did he relish racing between runners – but he was only fair in finishing sixth to Mourinho (who opposes him here again) in the Peter Young. The positive is that he was heavily supported - $4.60 into $2.90 - suggesting he’d pleased the astute Kris Lees team in practice. The negative is that Lees has suggested this week that the horse might be looking for a mile and a half now.
Check the full TAB.com.au market for the G1 Australian Cup here.
Happy Trails ($4.80) also comes through the Peter Young and he was good in finishing second. He loves Flemington, where he’s already won three Group Ones (including two at the 2000) and Damien Oliver steers – so there’s plenty to like!
The other main hopes appear to be the above mentioned Mourinho, who’s never raced better, Foreteller, who was on the podium last year (third to Fiorente) and Akzar and Spillway, who both revved well late at Caulfield last start.
My selections for the Australian Cup are: Protectionist to beat Happy Trails, Foreteller and Spillway.