The Underwood Stakes has always been a good horses race and it also doubles as a worthwhile guide to the Cox Plate. In fact, 2 of the last 4 winners of this race, Ocean Park and So You Think, have gone on to win the nations WFA Championship at The Valley.
First run in 1924, it’s produced winners such as Phar Lap, Ajax, Bonecrusher, Octagonal, Northerly and It’s A Dundeel, who of course handed Atlantic Jewel her only ever racetrack defeat in last years installment.
The Group 1 Underwood Stakes is set to jump at 4pm (AEST). Make sure you tune in to Sky Racing to catch all the action.
This year’s race features a small field of 10, but six are already Group One winners, and another 3 have won at Group Two grade.
The $3.60 TAB.com.au fixed odds favourite is Roger James' crack mare Silent Achiever. She’s had just the one run this time in, after her sterling Sydney Autumn campaign, which netted her the big Rosehill WFA double, the Ranvet and the BMW. She was good fresh too, getting home solidly to run fourth in the Memsie to Dissident (who came out last week of course to win the Makybe Diva). James suggests his now 6 year old might need one more run to hit her peak, but her second up record of 5 goes for 3 wins suggests she’ll be a force in this regardless.
The second favourite is Chris Waller’s Foreteller, and his two runs this prep have both been rippers. He got home hard for fourth to Star Rolling when resuming in the Lawrence and his second up run in the Feehan had "back me next time" written all over it. He settled down last and was still a mile off them with a couple of furlongs to go, but he got home better than anything else in the race to finish third, just over a length behind The Cleaner. The extra 200 metres here should be ideal.
The Offer resumed in that same race and his run from a Cups point of view was really good. He made up good ground down the outside to finish about a half length behind Foreteller and he too will appreciate the 1800 second up. He’s $11 fixed in the Caulfield Cup and is the outright $9 favourite for the Melbourne Cup, so there will be plenty of interest in his effort here.
The horse on the up is undoubtably the former UK galloper Stipulate . With the in-form Hayes/Dabernig team, he was super impressive first up in accounting for Brambles (who’s won since), over the 1700 here in Listed company. That was his first win on Aussie soil and he’s on the way to the Caulfield Cup, so the stable clearly thinks he’s top shelf.
Check the full TAB.com.au market for the Underwood Stakes here
Star Rolling has won up to 2000 metres, so the trip isn’t a problem and he looks the only genuine pace in the race. If he’s allowed to dictate as he likes, he could take running down, just like he did when winning the Lawerence here two starts back.
For the record, I’m tipping Foreteller from Silent Achiever, Stipulate and The Offer. Tune in to Sky Racing this Saturday!