Black Caviar heads the weights for the Newmarket Handicap
28 Feb 2012 | Undefeated champion Black Caviar will be asked to carry a record weight if her connections change their immediate plans and decide to pursue a second $1m, Group 1, Lexus Newmarket Handicap victory.
Black Caviar and Luke Nolan winning the Group 1 Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington on February 18th with Hay List and Glyn Schofield closer to the rails, picture Quentin Lang, quentinjlang.com.
Racing Victoria (RV) Senior Handicapper, Neil Jennings, has given Black Caviar topweight of 61.5kg in the sprint race run over 1200 metres at Flemington on Saturday week, 10 March.
It is 3.5kgs more than she carried to victory in last year's $1 million showdown and 1kg more than the weight-carrying record for a mare set by Pendant when victorious with 60.5kg in 1906.
Trainer Peter Moody announced last week that his champion mare was headed for a spell, but he has elected to keep her in the Newmarket Handicap pending today's release of weights by Jennings.
“We offered Peter Moody the opportunity to withdraw Black Caviar prior to today's release of weights, but he preferred to keep her within the race entries at this time,” Jennings explained.
“Whilst it is highly unlikely she will take her place in the field, as a first acceptor I'm obligated to allocate her a weight and thus connections have a week to decide if they change their minds.
“Her weight of 61.5kg represents a penalty of 3.5kgs for her victory in record time in last year's Newmarket Handicap, since which she's won a further nine races, six of those at Group 1 level.”
Hay List, who was runner-up to Black Caviar in Group 1 company for the fourth time in his career at his last start in the Coolmore Lightning Stakes (1000m), is the next highest weighted horse on 58.5kg.
If trainer John McNair takes up the challenge with Hay List, he too will need to defy history with Gold Stakes (60kg) the last horse to carry 58.5kg or more to victory in the Newmarket Handicap back in 1959. The modern day record is held by Shaftesbury Avenue who won with 58kg in 1991.
“The weight allocated to Hay List represents a challenge, but he boasts an outstanding record and it is reflective of his standing as arguably the second best sprinter in the world,” Jennings said.
“He was given 56.5kg in last year's Newmarket Handicap, but was scratched after final acceptances. In five starts since he's won the Group 1 All Aged, Group 2 Challenge Stakes and been runner-up to Black Caviar in three Group 1 races.
“His receives a 5kg turnaround from Black Caviar for his defeat in the Coolmore Lightning Stakes and concedes third placed Buffering, whom he defeated by two lengths, some 4kg.”
Dual Group 1 winners Albert The Fat and Toorak Toff are weighted next on 56.5kg and 56kg respectively, with a group of six horses, including emerging Sydney star Rain Affair, allocated 55.5kg.
The Joe Pride-trained Rain Affair has suffered defeat just once in 11 starts and, like Black Caviar in the 2011 edition, will be shooting for 10 consecutive wins when he makes his Melbourne debut in the premier sprint.
Joining him on 55.5kg are the past two Oakleigh Plate (1100m) winners, Woorim and Eagle Falls, along with last year's Newmarket placegetter Beaded and four-year-olds Ilovethiscity and Rekindled Interest.
Buffering, a stablemate of Woorim, has been given 54.5kg, which is the same weight as classy mare King's Rose, who is one of five first acceptors for Moody.
The talented Bel Sprinter, one of several hard luck stories in last weekend's Oakleigh Plate behind Woorim, has been allocated 52.5kg alongside third-placed Facile Tigre.
Highly rated Sydney colt Foxwedge, a last start fourth in the Lightning Stakes, and flying filly Celebrity Girl are two of the eight three-year-olds who share the minimum weight of 50kg.
Three-year-olds have an impressive record in the Newmarket having won nine of the past 20 editions including victories by Schillaci, General Nediym, Exceed And Excel, Alinghi and Weekend Hussler, all of whom carried 53.5kg or more.
Final acceptances for the Newmarket Handicap are taken at 10am (AEST) on Wednesday, 7 March.
Weights for the Group 1 Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m)
Field Limit: 24
Horse Trainer Ballot Weight Penalty Hcp Rating
1 BLACK CAVIAR Peter G Moody 1 61.5kg 130
2 HAY LIST John McNair 2 58.5kg 116
3 ALBERT THE FAT Chris Waller 5 56.5kg 112
4 TOORAK TOFF Rick Hore-Lacy 7 56kg 111
5 BEADED Peter Snowden 3 55.5kg 114
6 EAGLE FALLS David Hayes 8 55.5kg 110
7 ILOVETHISCITY Grahame Begg 10 55.5kg 110
8 RAIN AFFAIR Joseph Pride 12 55.5kg 110
9 REKINDLED INTEREST Jim Conlan 11 55.5kg 110
10 WOORIM Robert Heathcote 9 55.5kg 110
11 SECRET ADMIRER Grahame Begg 4 55kg 113
12 BUFFERING Robert Heathcote 14 54.5kg 108
13 KING’S ROSE (NZ) Peter G Moody 6 54.5kg 112
14 TEMPLE OF BOOM Tony Gollan 15 54.5kg 108
15 GRAND NIRVANA Fred Kersley 16 54kg 107
16 WARATAH’S SECRET Jim P Taylor 17 53.5kg 106
17 LONE ROCK Robert Smerdon 13 53kg 109
18 BEL SPRINTER Jason Warren 20 52.5kg 104
19 FACILE TIGRE Jason McLachlan 19 52.5kg 104
20 ROCK CLASSIC Bart Cummings 18 52.5kg 104
21 CURTANA Peter G Moody 24 52kg 101
22 KULGRINDA Peter G Moody 25 52kg 99
23 LIKE AN EAGLE Ross & Clint Price 28 52kg 97
24 LIVEANDLETDIE Mark Kavanagh 32= 52kg 94
25 MASTER HARRY Peter G Moody 30 52kg 96
26 MASTER OF DESIGN David Payne 22 52kg 102
27 METALLURGICAL John P Thompson 31 52kg 95
28 MR CHARD Dean Lawson 27 52kg 97
29 PHELAN READY Jason McLachlan 23 52kg 102
30 SHOCK VALUE David Hayes 29 52kg 97
31 STIRLING GROVE Richard Jolly 26 52kg 98
32 AFRICAN PULSE Michael Moroney 34 50kg 91
33 CELEBRITY GIRL Mark Kavanagh 32= 50kg 94
34 DECIRCLES Danny O'Brien 36 50kg 82
35 EMERALD DOWNS Anthony Cummings 37 50kg 76
36 FOXWEDGE John O'Shea 21 50kg 104
37 MISS STELLABELLE Mark Kavanagh 35 50kg 86
38 RIFLEMAN David Hayes 39 50kg 70
39 UNIQUE QUALITY Frankie Stockdale 38 50kg 72