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Redkirk Warrior Shares Newmarket Topweight

Redkirk Warrior has been allocated equal top weight in the Newmarket Handicap as he bids to win the race for a third consecutive year.

He joins Santa Ana Lane at the head of the weights with 58.5kg for the Group One sprint over the straight 1200m-course at Flemington on March 9.

The Lindsay Park-trained sprinter won the race first-up in 2017 with 52.5kg before returning last year, second-up, with 57.5kg.

If successful, Redkirk Warrior will become the first sprinter to win the race on three occasions having already joined Aspen (1880/81), Gothic (1927/28), Correct (1960/61) and Razor Sharp (1982/83) as a dual winner while Hay List, in 2012, was the last horse to carry 58.5kg to victory.

Last year’s Newmarket runner-up Brave Smash, now in the stable of Kris Lees, has 57kg, a rise of 0.5kg on last year’s narrow defeat.

His stablemate In Her Time, aiming to emulate Redkirk Warrior’s 2017 feat of the Lightning Stakes-Newmarket Handicap double, has 55.5kg, 0.5kg more than Santa Ana Lane’s Group One-winning stablemate Shoals.

Beaten Oakleigh Plate favourite Nature Strip has 54.5kg, Oakleigh Plate winner Booker has been given 53kg with Sunlight to carry 50.5kg.

A total of 40 horses remain in contention for the Newmarket which has a capacity field of 24.

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