Named in honour of the long-time chairman of the Williamstown Racing Club and VRC Vice-Chairman E.A. Underwood, the annual event is a weight-for-ages race run over the uncommon 1800m distance. Considered the unofficial start to the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival (including the Melbourne Cup), the race attracts class gallopers that, as history has shown, tend to go on to do bigger and better things in major races such as the Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate. Bart Cummings’ So You Think is a perfect example. He took out the Underwood Stakes in 2010 prior to winning two other Group 1s – the Mackinnon Stakes and Cox Plate later in the spring.
The event serves as a good race for those horses looking for further than 1600m and also suits horses stepping up to longer feature race distances around 2000m or 2400m in coming weeks. Some of Australia’s finest gallopers have won this race. The honour board includes the likes of Heroic (1926), Phar Lap (1931), Ajax (1938/39/40), Lord (1960), Tobin Bronze (1966), Rain Lover (1969), Big Philou (1970), Rubiton (1987), Octagonal (1996), Tie The Knot (1998), Northerly (2001/02), Elvestroem (2004)and Weekend Hussler (2008). Champion mare Atlantic Jewel was set to be added to the list in 2013, but her unbeaten run came to an end when she was over-run late by It’s A Dundeel.
|2016||BLACK HEART BART||BRAD RAWILLER||DARREN WEIR||01:50.6|
|2015||MOURINHO||VLAD DURIC||PETER GELAGOTIS||01:48.8|
|2014||FORETELLER||GLEN BOSS||CHRIS WALLER||01:50.2|
|2013||IT’S A DUNDEEL||JAMES MCDONALD||MURRAY BAKER||01.54.7|
|2012||OCEAN PARK||GLEN BOSS||GARY HENNESSY||01.51.4|
|2011||LION TAMER||MICHAEL RODD||MURRAY BAKER||01.50.3|
|2010||SO YOU THINK||STEVEN ARNOLD||BART CUMMINGS||01.49.5|
|2009||HEART OF DREAMS||CRAIG NEWITT||MICK PRICE||01.49.5|
|2008||WEEKEND HUSSLER||BRAD RAWILLER||ROSS MCDONALD||01.49.8|
|2007||RUBISCENT||DANNY NIKOLIC||MICK PRICE||01.49.8|
|2006||EL SEGUNDO||DARREN GAUCI||COLIN LITTLE||01.49.5|