Underwood Stakes History
The Cup contenders will have come from runs in the Memsie Stakes, Makybe Diva Stakes, PB Lawrence Stakes and the Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes and use the Underwood Stakes as a lead-up race for the big prizes.
Horses also in line for a Cox Plate start have used the Underwood Stakes as a steppingstone to Moonee Valley. Horses targeting the big handicap Cups have also used the Underwood as a warm-up for a tilt at another lead-up race, namely the Turnbull Stakes run a week later in early October.
The Underwood Stakes is also recognised as the first weight-for-age race in the spring carnival longer than 1600m and gives those competing stayers a chance to fine tune their spring carnival itinerary.
The race has undergone several changes to the distance it has been run over. Since the first running of the race in 1924 when it was run over a mile or 1600m race, the distance has been chopped and changed and, over the years, run over 1400m, 1600m, 1800m and from 1953 to 1992 over 2000m. Since then it was reduced back 1800m.
Class horses such as It’s A Dundeel (2014), So You Think (2010), Elvstroem (2004) and the mighty Octagonal in 1996 have all contested and won the Underwood Stakes.
The success of the race can be measured by the horses who have gone on to bigger and better things.
The 2004 winner Elvstroem went on to win the Caulfield Cup that year, while So You Think, winner in 2010, went on to win his second successive Cox Plate after triumphing in the Underwood Stakes. He was followed by the 2012 winner Ocean Park, who also went on to do the Underwood Stakes-Cox Plate double.
In 2015, Underwood Stakes fourth placegetter Mongolian Khan went on to win the Caulfield Cup, while Black Heart Bart and Bonneval are the most recent winners.