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The Newmarket Handicap – one of Australia’s great races

March 9, 2012

The Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) is traditionally known as the ‘Melbourne Cup for sprinters’.

It is a fair call as the race is the ultimate test for a stakes class sprinter. The handicap nature of the race means that, just like in the Cup, lighter weighted emerging speedsters get the chance to topple the best, with weight and traffic often contributing to the downfall of the greats. That said though, the roll call of winners sees the majority of Australia’s top sprinters listed.

The likes of Wakeful (1901), Ajax (1938), Bernborough (1946), Baguette (1971), Toy Show (1976), Maybe Mahal (1978), Razor Sharp (1982-83), Placid Ark (1987), Takeover Target (2006), Miss Andretti (2007), Weekend Hussler (2008) and Black Caviar (2011) instantly spring to mind.

First run in 1874 when won by Maid of Avenel, its importance on the Australian racing calendar has arguably become greater in the modern era with our industry revolving around sprinters.

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