Newmarket Handicap facts and figures

Newmarket Handicap facts and figures

NEWMARKET HANDICAP

Run at Flemington over 1200m, $1.25 million, handicap

HISTORY

* First run in 1874 when won by Maid Of Avenel

NOTABLE WINNERS

* Malua (1884); Wakeful (1901); Gothic (1927-28); Aurie’s Star (1937); Bernborough (1946); Correct (1960-61); Century (1973); Maybe Mahal (1978); Placid Ark (1987); Shaftesbury Avenue (1991); Schillaci (1992); Exceed And Excel (2004); Takeover Target (2006); Weekend Hussler (2008); Black Caviar (2011); Lankan Rupee (2014); Brazen Beau (2015); Redkirk Warrior (2017-18)

TALKING POINTS

* Trainer Bart Cummings won the race eight times, Colin Hayes four and Lee Freedman three

* Jockey Damien Oliver shares the most numbers of wins, three, with Harold Badger, Craig Newitt, Athol Mulley and Harry White. Oliver rides Brave Smash this year

* In Her Time will attempt to become the 15th winner of the Lightning Stakes/Newmarket double, following Redkirk Warrior achieved last year

* Booker will attempt to be the 12th Oakleigh Plate/Newmarket winner and first since Lankan Rupee in 2014

* Redkirk Warrior became the first horse since 1917 to win the Newmarket first-up in 2017. He became the first imported horse since Gothic (1927/28) to record two wins when successful in 2018 joining Aspen (1880/81); Gothic; Correct (1960/61) and Razor Sharp (1982/83) as a dual winner

* 24 mares have won the Newmarket, latest Black Caviar (2011). In Her Time, Booker, Whispering Brook, Champagne Cuddles, Divine Quality, I’ll Have A Bit and Missrock are the mares in this year’s line-up

* Sunlight will look to join the 15 three-year-old fillies to have won the Newmarket, the last Alinghi in 2005. She is also aiming to become the fifth horse to win the Coolmore Stud Stakes/Newmarket double, last achieved by Weekend Hussler in 2008

* 30 three-year-old colts or geldings have won the sprint, the latest Shamexpress in 2013. This year they are represented by Encryption, Graff, Zousain and Lean Mean Machine

* Black Caviar holds the race record of 1.07.36, recorded in 2011

WHAT THE KEY PLAYERS ARE SAYING:

“He’s going to try to create history” – Redkirk Warrior’s co-trainer David Hayes

“We’ve got the horse set up now and it’s time for him to deliver at Group One level. His run had the flashing lights all over it in the weight-for-age Group One (Lightning) first-up a couple of weeks ago and now I think at 1200 metres he’s really got his chance” – trainer James Cummings on Osborne Bulls

“I think that he’s really setting up nicely third-up. This is a great target for him and if he could win a Newmarket then with the page that he’s got he would solidify and cement his position at stud” – Cummings on Encryption

“I think they are getting there as good as they can be, but it’s a very open race” trainer Kris Lees who saddles up Brave Smash, In Her Time and Graff

“On her day she’s a very good mare, but it’s going to be an exciting race and a tough ask. It’s a field full of depth” – Champagne Cuddles’ trainer Bjorn Baker

Credit: AAP