Yulong Stud Newmarket Handicap awaits Inglis Sprint winner

5 March 2022 Written by Andrew Hawkins

Next Saturday’s $1.5 million Yulong Stud Newmarket Handicap (1200m) awaits Bjorn Baker’s Overpass after he justified market – and ratings – dominance to take out the $750,000 Inglis Sprint (1200m) over the Flemington straight six today.

Sent out as the $1.70 favourite, the Josh Parr-ridden Overpass – winner of the Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill in January – proved clearly superior to his rivals as handicap ratings suggested he would with only Newcastle filly Spellcatcher able to get anywhere close, finishing three-quarters of a length from the winner.

The Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-prepared The Art Of Flying, who boasted form around multiple Group 1 winner Anamoe, finished third, three and a half lengths from Overpass.

Now, the Darby Racing-owned Overpass is set to complete his unlikely rise from a maiden win in a minor feature, the Silver Apple in the central-western NSW town of Orange, in April last year to the world’s richest sprint handicap, all in the space of 11 months.

“He’d only carry 50kg so now that he’s won down here, with that sort of weight on his back, I’d certainly encourage the stable to head that way,” an ebullient Parr said post-race. “I can’t ride him of course, only half of me would make that weight, but I’m really thrilled to get a winner here today and I’m happy to make my family proud watching at home.”

Jumping away well, Overpass did duck in early and ended up in a handy position, a length behind the overracing leader, grey Lord Paramount. While all went to plan onto the course proper, it started to look as though it could quickly go pear-shaped at the 500m when the son of Vancouver started to idle, although Parr said he was prepared for that section of the race.

“When he sees clear air, his ears will often prick and he will have a good look around,” Parr said. “He did that going down to the start and I was aware that he was going to be like that. It was a matter of just keeping his rhythm nice and neat. We got him into a really good stride and he’s got a remarkable turn of foot, as we’ve seen in Sydney.

“He showed that here today and he’s a horse well and truly on the rise.”

With his win today, Overpass took his earnings towards the $800,000 mark, with the cheque for first in the Inglis Sprint - $412,500 – more than doubling his previous bank balance.

A rider is yet to be confirmed to ride Overpass in the Yulong Stud Newmarket Handicap.