Newmarket Handicap 2024: Imperatriz to face 13 rivals

Imperatriz headlines the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap field at Flemington this Saturday afternoon. (Photo: Pat Scala/Racing Photos)

The Group 1 Newmarket Handicap will headline proceedings at Flemington on Saturday afternoon, with 14 sprinters accepting for the time-honoured 1200m race.

With very warm weather forecast for Newmarket Handicap Day, there is a possibility that the races are brought forward to an earlier start time by the Victorian Racing Club to try and avoid as much of the heat as possible.

Heading the field is nine-time Group 1 winner Imperatriz, who has opened as a +190 favourite with horse racing betting sites.

Considering that the Mark Walker-trained galloper has been sent around as an odds-on commodity in three of her previous four starts, bookmakers are giving punters a very good price to back the star mare in what is considered the toughest test of her career to date.

After winning the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning by a long neck first-up, the daughter of I Am Invincible will run down the Flemington straight for the third time as she seeks to keep her undefeated record at the track intact.

However, there are several challengers lining up to try and knock off the best sprinter in Australasia, with the Matthew Smith-trained Buenos Noches (+550) opening on the second line of betting.

The four-year-old entire ran the market elect to within half a length in the VRC Champions Sprint in the spring, and he will be looking to improve on his fourth-place finish as an odds-on favourite in the Group 2 Expressway Stakes.

Just behind the top two in betting is Magic Time (+600), who will be returning from a four-month spell after winning the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes last time out and is also undefeated at 1200m during her career.

After producing an eye-catching run when finishing third behind Imperatriz in the Black Caviar Lightning, Espiona (+650) stays in Melbourne to compete in the Newmarket and is expected to relish the step up to 1200m.

Outside the top four in betting, a few runners who competed in the Oakleigh Plate last start will run in the lone Group 1 contest at Flemington, with Sghirripa (+1100), Benedetta (+1600) and Rey Magnerio (+2500) all accepting.

While the race times could be changed due to the heat, the Newmarket Handicap is scheduled to jump at 3:05pm AEDT and will be race five on the Flemington program.

2024 Newmarket Handicap Field

Imperatriz Silks

1. Imperatriz (3)

  • T: Mark Walker
  • J: Opie Bosson
  • W: 58kg
  • F: 1×111
  • Age: 5YO
  • Color: Bay
  • Sex: Mare
  • Sire: I Am Invincible
  • Dam: Berimbau
Bella Nipotina Silks

2. Bella Nipotina (4)

  • T: Ciaron Maher
  • J: Craig Williams
  • W: 55.5kg
  • F: 4×513
  • Age: 6YO
  • Color: Chestnut
  • Sex: Mare
  • Sire: Pride of Dubai
  • Dam: Bella Orfana
Buenos Noches Silks

3. Buenos Noches (9)

  • T: Matthew Smith
  • J: Blake Shinn
  • W: 55.5kg
  • F: 4×283
  • Age: 4YO
  • Color: Bay
  • Sex: Horse
  • Sire: Supido
  • Dam: Koi
Espiona Silks

4. Espiona (8)

  • T: Chris Waller
  • J: Joe McNeil
  • W: 54.5kg
  • F: 3×417
  • Age: 5YO
  • Color: Bay
  • Sex: Mare
  • Sire: Extreme Choice
  • Dam: Dahooil (NZ)
Ruthless Dame Silks

5. Ruthless Dame (2)

  • T: Ciaron Maher
  • J: John Allen
  • W: 53.5kg
  • F: x7257
  • Age: 4YO
  • Color: Bay
  • Sex: Mare
  • Sire: Tavistock (NZ)
  • Dam: Ruthless Lady (NZ)
Magic Time Silks

6. Magic Time (12)

  • T: Grahame Begg
  • J: Michael Dee
  • W: 53kg
  • F: x1315
  • Age: 4YO
  • Color: Bay
  • Sex: Mare
  • Sire: Hellbent
  • Dam: Time Awaits
The Astrologist Silks

7. The Astrologist (14)

  • T: Leon & Troy Corstens
  • J: Declan Bates
  • W: 52.5kg
  • F: 759×5
  • Age: 7YO
  • Color: Bay
  • Sex: Gelding
  • Sire: Zoustar
  • Dam: Aquada
Benedetta Silks

8. Bendetta (11)

  • T: Jason Warren
  • J: Harry Coffey
  • W: 52kg
  • F: 4×431
  • Age: 4YO
  • Color: Bay
  • Sex: Mare
  • Sire: Hellbent
  • Dam: Whatalovelyday
It'sourtime Silks

9. It’sourtime (1)

  • T: Danny O’Brien
  • J: TBC
  • W: 52kg
  • F: x3404
  • Age: 6YO
  • Color: Bay
  • Sex: Gelding
  • Sire: Time for War
  • Dam: Zedoble
Master Fay Silks

10. Master Fay (10)

  • T: Chad Ormsby
  • J: Dean Yendall
  • W: 52kg
  • F: 11×1
  • Age: 6YO
  • Color: Bay
  • Sex: Gelding
  • Sire: Deep Field
  • Dam: Keeping Score (NZ)
Rey Magnerio Silks

11. Rey Magnerio (7)

  • T: Robbie Griffiths & Mathew de Kock
  • J: Daniel Moor
  • W: 52kg
  • F: 91211
  • Age: 4YO
  • Color: Brown
  • Sex: Gelding
  • Sire: Magnus
  • Dam: Luchardo
Sghirripa Silks

12. Sghirripa (6)

  • T: Shane & Cassie Oxlade
  • J: Craig Newitt
  • W: 52kg
  • F: 71131
  • Age: 4YO
  • Color: Grey
  • Sex: Gelding
  • Sire: Lonhro
  • Dam: Wonder I Do
Skew Wiff Silks

13. Skew Wiff (5)

  • T: Mark Walker
  • J: Celine Gaudray
  • W: 52kg
  • F: 0x516
  • Age: 4YO
  • Color: Bay
  • Sex: Mare
  • Sire: Savabeel
  • Dam: Starvoia
Cylinder Silks

14. Cylinder (13)

  • T: James Cummings
  • J: Jamie Kah
  • W: 51.5kg
  • F: 6×053
  • Age: 3YO
  • Color: Bay
  • Sex: Colt
  • Sire: Exceed And Excel
  • Dam: Circular

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