Recent Group 1 winners Redkirk Warrior and Brave Smash are the only two gallopers to carry above 52.5kg in Saturday’s $1.25 million Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m), taking on 13 others at the lighter weights.
The Black Caviar Lightning winner and reigning Newmarket champion jumps from barrier 15 of 15 for the famous straight-track affair with 57.5kg and Regan Bayliss, while Futurity Stakes winner Brave Smash and Craig Williams combine again from gate two carrying 56.5kg.
Star fillies Booker and Catchy get in on the minimum 50kg, with apprentice Ben Thompson riding the Ellerton Zahra Racing galloper (barrier three), while Caulfield Cup winner Cory Parish will be aboard last year’s Blue Diamond Stakes winner (barrier nine).
The only horses without a win down the straight heading into the Newmarket are Rock Magic, So Si Bon and Lucky Liberty plus straight-track debutants Brave Smash and Thronum (both first time at Flemington overall), as well as Cup week winner over a mile, Fastnet Tempest.
The $1.5m TAB Australian Cup (2000m) has assembled a field of 12, although only two Australian-breds – Caulfield Cup runner-up Single Gaze, and Cup week winner Supply And Demand.
Anthony Freedman’s Japanese import Ambitious has got the visitors’ draw on his Australian debut in barrier 12.
Raging favourite Gailo Chop, for Darren Weir and Mark Zahra, will jump from 10.
Macedon Lodge trainer Liam Howley’s trio of Homesman, The Taj Mahal and Almandin will jump from three, seven and 11 respectively.
No fewer than seven different international jurisdictions are represented in the breeding in the Cup.