The biggest day of the Autumn Carnival arrives at Flemington this Saturday and quite rightly carries the moniker Super Saturday. Two of Australia’s oldest and most prestigious Gr1 races are decided in the Newmarket Hcp and the Australian Cup. Every other race on the card is at Stakes level and the racing itself is wonderfully complemented by the Flemington Grazing Trail and Cellar Door.
A more relaxed crowd size compared to the Spring really presents an opportunity to get to Australia’s most beautiful racecourse and enjoy all she has to offer.
The Newmarket Handicap was first run in 1874 and ever since has established itself as the highlight of the VRC Autumn Carnival. It is the Melbourne Cup for Sprinters. A handicap run over 1200m down the famous Flemington straight. It has been won by many of Australia’s champion horses and in the last 10 years alone can boast Black Caviar, Takeover Target, Scenic Blast, Miss Andretti and Alinghi amongst its winners. Not a bad list!
We were lucky enough to win The Newmarket with Shamexpress in 2013. Raced by a lot of the same people as Shamrocker, including our good friends Jeff and Alison Dimrey, we really enjoyed the win. Danny had set the horse for the race after he had run 3rd in the Coolmore Stakes on Derby Day the previous Spring. Jeff had taken long range odds on Shamexpress of 100/1 so when he got up in literally the last stride to win it was pandemonium. Watch his remarkable win here!
We celebrated long into the night with a wonderful group of owners. Later that year Shamexpress took us all to Royal Ascot together. The experiences you share with the owners of horses like Shamexpress is one of the really positive sides of my racing life.
This Saturday the highest rated Sprinters in the world will meet in the Newmarket. There can be only one winner and watching the tension and excitement of such a race unfold is what gets you coming back to Flemington as Melburnians have done for over 150 years. The fashion, food and wine will also be there as I am sure they were 150 years ago. The winter and the long football season are nearly upon us so do yourself a favour and get out to Flemington for one last Autumn hurrah.
PICTURE CREDIT BRUNO CANNATELLI, ULTIMATE RACING PHOTOS