Hartnell has continued his solid performances in his two runs back since James Cummings took over the Godolphin operation securing a first up victory followed with a 2nd placing. Resuming in the G2 Lawrence Stakes at Caulfield over 1400m, he was brilliant in putting them away with a 2.25 length victory. Second up in the Makybe Diva at the Flemington mile, he started a hot favourite and was positioned on the speed by McEvoy. Looking to find a margin he couldn't withstand the powerful finish of Humidor who sprinted clear to record a 3.25 length victory. His run in the Lawrence is the only time he has started at Caulfield. The 7YO will be third-up and this will be the first time since being imported that he has been at a distance shorter than 2000m at this stage of his preparation. He looks well placed here, but black figures would be a better play.
Bonneval has a fairly significant piece of history to overcome to win the Underwood, with no mare successful in the race in the past 30 years, the last mare to win the race was Tristarc in 1985. A six-time winner from nine race starts, the Mafki mare has won five of those races in succession, all at Group level. In the Autumn, the then filly secured the New Zealand Oaks at Trentham before heading to Randwick and recording a dominant 4.5 length victory in the ATC Oaks. Resuming at Moonee Valley over the mile in the Feehan Stakes, she was strong to the line to record a stylish first-up win. Hugh Bowman rides the mare again, having been aboard for her ATC Oaks triumph and from gate 3 should be able to settle handy at her first look at Caulfield.
The Darren Weir trained cult hero will be looking to secure successive Underwood Stakes victories and victory would see him join Northerly as successive winners of the nine furlong event. After successive unplaced runs for the first time since joining the Darren Weir stable, BHB resumed in the Lawrence Stakes here at Caulfield over the 1400m when running a three length 3rd to Hartnell. That was the first time he had missed victory over the track and trip, with 4 previous wins over the Caulfield 1400m, 3 of those at G1 level. Taken to the Makybe Diva last start he again finished in the placings behind a stable-mate as he did in 2016, this time to Humidor. His 2016 campaign was similar to his current preparation, can he make it 2 from 2 at the Caulfield 1800m?
Trained by Team Hawkes, Inference might just be a value runner here as he gets out towards a longer trip which looks to suit, despite the fact he is yet to win beyond 1600m. A winner of the Randwick Guineas, he placed 2nd behind Gingernuts in the Rosehill Guineas at 2000m before his 3YO term ended when 6th to Jon Snow in the ATC Derby. Starting his 4YO season in the Warwick Stakes, he was far from disgraced behind Winx. With his run in the Makybe Diva a forgive run, he can look to emulate the deeds of his sire So You Think who was successful in this race in 2010.
Held at Caulfield over 1800m, the Underwood Stakes is a Group 1 event that has maintained its status since 1979. Conducted at weight-for-age conditions, the race was run over 2000m between 1954 and 1993 and then in 1994 was reduced to the current distance.
The 2017 edition will offer total prizemoney of $750,000 with the winner to receive $450,000. First held in 1924, the race was held at Williamstown Racecourse until 1947. It moved to Caulfield in 1948 when taken out by Royal Gem.
Black Heart Bart was successful in 2016 for trainer Darren Weir and jockey Brad Rawiller. Other past winners include It’s A Dundeel, So You Think, Weekend Hussler, El Segundo and Octagonal. Northerly is the only dual winner of the race in the past 50 years when successful in 2001 and 2002.
Odds and previews are available for all the major Spring Racing Carnival races at UBET's Spring Racing Betting Hub.
|Date:||Sunday 1st October 2017|
|Race Time:||15:00 AEST|
|Race Type:||Weight for Age|
|2016 Winner:||Black Heart Bart|
|Bet on the Underwood Stakes|