Newmarket Handicap : What You Need To Know

Speith who is currently favourite for Saturday's Newmarket Handicap. Photo courtesy Geo Hillis Photography.

Speith who is currently favourite for Saturday's Newmarket Handicap. Photo courtesy Geo Hillis Photography.

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); Berborough (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).

TALKING POINTS

* The Quarterback, Redkirk Warrior and Voodoo Lad will try to become the first horses to win the Newmarket first-up since Polycrates in 1917.

* The Quarterback is attempting to become the first horse to win back-to-back Newmarkets since Razor Sharp in 1982-83.

* Spieth is favourite to break through for his first Group One win having finished a close second in the Darley Classic and Lightning Stakes at Flemington in his past two starts.

WHAT THE KEY PLAYERS ARE SAYING:

"This is the next step with her. We didn't run her in the Oakleigh Plate on purpose just to have her spot-on for this. She's in great order" - Super Cash's trainer Andrew Noblet.

"He'll rock up there in good order. It's just a question of whether he can re-write the history books" - The Quarterback's trainer Robbie Griffiths.

"We've got a fit and healthy horse that performed well in the Lightning which traditionally is a good lead-up race for the Newmarket. I've done my job and the rest is now up to Hugh (Bowman)" - trainer Bryce Heys on favourite Spieth.

"He's an outstanding colt. He can win" - Extreme Choice's trainer Mick Price.

MELBOURNE, March 6 AAP