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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 Newmarket Handicap 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 StakesNewmarket 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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