This weekend at Flemington, Mark Walker‘s champion mare Imperatriz will attempt to etch her name further into racing history by winning the 2024 Newmarket Handicap.

Imperatriz wins 2024 Black Caviar Lightning

Imperatriz is out to become a 10-time Group 1 winning mare in the Newmarket Handicap 2024 this weekend. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos.

The nine-time Group 1 winner, a daughter of I Am Invincible, will carry the top weight of 58kg in the prestigious $1.5 million sprint race over 1200m.

Imperatriz kicked off her campaign in impressive fashion, narrowly defeating Private Eye in the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) at the track.

Now, she returns to her preferred distance of 1200m, boasting a formidable record of 7 wins, 1 second-place finish, and 1 third-place finish from 9 starts at this distance.

Additionally, her second-up record is equally impressive, with 5 wins and 1 third-place finish from 6 attempts.

Unsurprisingly, Imperatriz sits comfortably atop the Newmarket Handicap odds at $2.60 through Ladbrokes, but faces a unique challenge.

She aims to become the first horse since Hay List (58.5kg in 2012) to win the race carrying more than 57.5kg.

The last mare to carry the 58kg to victory was the legendary Black Caviar in 2011, highlighting the elite company Imperatriz is striving to join.

Despite the weight disadvantage, Imperatriz draws favourably in barrier three with jockey Opie Bosson onboard, making her a strong contender.

Her main challenger is expected to be Buenos Noches ($4.60).

The field has been reduced to thirteen runners following the early scratching of Espiona, leaving only one other horse besides Imperatriz and Buenos Noches in single-figure odds – the resuming Magic Time ($7).

Chris Waller‘s Espiona, originally slated to run in the Newmarket, will instead compete in the smaller field of the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Randwick on the same day.

Other hopefuls in the Newmarket Handicap include the well-performed Bella Nipotina ($10) and the three-year-old contender Cylinder ($16).

The 2024 Newmarket Handicap will be run as Race 5 on Saturday’s eight-race card at Flemington, with the starting time set for 3:05 pm (AEDT).

2024 Newmarket Handicap Field

No Last 10 Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight Probable Weight Penalty Hcp Rating
1 121x1111x1 IMPERATRIZ Mark Walker Opie Bosson 3 58kg 119
2 36x33315x4 BELLA NIPOTINA Ciaron Maher Craig Williams 4 55.5kg 114
3 x57x1382x4 BUENOS NOCHES Matthew Smith Blake Shinn 9 55.5kg 110
4 17x21714x3 ESPIONA Chris Waller Jye McNeil 8 54.5kg 112
5 0150x7527x RUTHLESS DAME (NZ) Ciaron Maher Damian Lane 2 53.5kg 110
6 1x13x5131x MAGIC TIME Grahame Begg Michael Dee 12 53kg 109
7 062725×957 THE ASTROLOGIST Leon & Troy Corstens Declan Bates 14 52.5kg 104
8 113x1134x4 BENEDETTA Jason Warren Harry Coffey 11 52kg 102
9 423134043x IT’SOURTIME Danny O’Brien Ms Linda Meech 1 52kg 98
10 1×11 MASTER FAY Chad Ormsby Dean Yendall 10 52kg 90
11 1134111219 REY MAGNERIO Robbie Griffiths & Mathew de Kock Daniel Moor 7 52kg 88
12 145×113117 SGHIRRIPA Shane & Cassie Oxlade Craig Newitt 6 52kg 102
13 22x21615x0 SKEW WIFF (NZ) Mark Walker Ms Celine Gaudray (a) 5 52kg 107
14 27x11350x6 CYLINDER James Cummings Ms Jamie Kah 13 51.5kg 107

Table Credit: Racing Australia.

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About The Author

Lucy Henderson

Lucy is an experienced horse racing journalist that has been a crucial member of the team for the better part of a decade. She has taken great delight in covering champion mares Black Caviar and Winx throughout their careers and always has a soft spot for a winning filly.