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Held a fortnight before the Melbourne Spring Carnival officially kicks off, Underwood Stakes Day is renowned as one of the biggest days on the Victorian racing calendar. The race card is headlined by the Group 1 Underwood Stakes, where some of the country’s best weight-for-age horses do battle, with the winner earning owners $240,000 in prize money. Also included on the day are Group 3 races, the How Now Stakes and the Naturalism Stakes .
Total stakes money, including bonuses, is more than $1.3m, with many of the carnival stars enjoying lead-up runs ahead of their major assignments for the spring. From 1924-1947 the event was conducted by the Williamstown Racing Club at Williamstown Racecourse, before switching to the Caulfield racecourse in 1948. The Underwood Stakes became a Group 1 event in 1979, so for trivia buffs, the first winner of this race at the elite level was Valley Of Georgia. It has enjoyed that status ever since and in 2014 its prize pool was increased to $400,000.
|RACE NAME||STATUS||PRIZE MONEY||DISTANCE||RACE TYPE|
|UNDERWOOD STAKES||GR 1||$400,000||1800M||WFA|
|HOW NOW STAKES||GR 3||$150,000||1200M||MARES SW+PEN|
|NATURALISM STAKES||GR 3||$150,000||2000M||OPEN HANDICAP|