Weights released for Yulong Stud Newmarket Handicap

1 March 2022 Written by Andrew Hawkins

Black Caviar Lightning winner Home Affairs will stamp himself as one of the best sprinting colts of all time if he can add the Group 1 Yulong Stud Newmarket Handicap (1200m) to his record, after he was today allocated 55.5kg for the $1.5 million feature to be run this Saturday at Flemington.

Since the introduction of metric weights in 1972 only Weekend Hussler - a gelding - carried more weight as a three-year-old to take Australia’s premier sprinting handicap in 2008.

Another young gelding, the mighty Schillaci, carried the equal of Home Affairs with 55.5kg in 1992, while there have been four three-year-old winners with 55kg - Century (1973), Placid Ark (1987), General Nediym (1998) and Exceed And Excel (2004) - highlighting the hefty challenge that awaits the two-time Group 1 winner on Saturday 12 March.

The Chris Waller-trained Home Affairs could meet his Black Caviar Lightning rival and stablemate Nature Strip a kilogram better at the weights should the world champion sprinter also line up in the Yulong Stud Newmarket Handicap, with Nature Strip allocated top weight of 59.5kg.

In the metric era, no horse has carried more than the 58.5kg allocated to Hay List in 2012 to take the prize, although Black Caviar did carry 58kg in 2011 which, when taking her mares allowance into account, means she carried the equivalent of 60kg that would have been awarded to her male counterparts.

Nature Strip sits three kilograms ahead of any of his rivals, with Group 1 winner Masked Crusader (56.5kg) next in weight order.

Last year's winner Zoutori will carry 55kg,2kg less than his winning weight last year.- while he is joined on that mark by Wild Ruler. Just behind them is The Inferno with 54kg, while Count De Rupee, Laws Of Indices and Kemalpasa have all been allocated 53.5kg.

Dual Group 1-winning New Zealand mare Levante will make her Australian debut with 53kg in the Yulong Stud Newmarket Handicap, while all other mares have been allotted 52kg including Swats That.

Home Affairs may be the headline act among the three-year-olds but he is one of 10 from the age group and, as a collective, they appear well weighted.

Last year's Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) winner Artorius will carry 50.5kg, while the remainder, including Group 2 winners Overpass, Marine One and Paulele, will all have just 50kg on their back.

Victoria Racing Club (VRC) Executive General Manager Racing Leigh Jordon said that the stage is set for one of the great Yulong Stud Newmarket Handicaps.

"There is nothing quite like seeing a capacity field thundering down the Flemington straight and this year we are poised to have one of the best Yulong Stud Newmarket Handicap fields in recent memory," Mr Jordon said.

"There is so much quality right through the entries and the weights add another dimension in trying to sort out one of the great puzzles of the turf.

"We are very hopeful of having a capacity field in this year's Yulong Stud Newmarket Handicap and I am sure it will be a great spectacle for everyone, from racegoers to punters to owners and trainers."

Final acceptances close at 9am next Wednesday 9 March ahead of the second day of the Flemington Racing Spectacular, Super Saturday on Saturday 12 March. The Flemington Racing Spectacular begins this Saturday 5 March with Australian Guineas Day.

A full list of weights for the Yulong Stud Newmarket Handicap can be found here.

Image caption: Home Affairs and Nature Strip may have a rematch waiting in the Yulong Stud Newmarket Handicap.