Underwood Stakes Winning Trends
The Underwood Stakes (1800m) is a Group 1 race at Caulfield that has been taken out by some big names in the past and we take a look at the Underwood Stakes winning trends.
The September feature has an honour roll that is hard to rival in Australian racing with the likes of Northerly, So You Think, Elvstroem and El Segundo among those on to claim the race. Using the results of the Underwood Stakes winning trends since the year 2000 as a guide, the $500,000 affair has been a bit of a mixed one for punters. Black Heart Bart won as a $101 shot in 2019 but only three other horses have won at odds above $10, including the 2015 winner, Mourinho, who scored as a $17 chance.
Six favourites have won the event in the time period since 2000. Ironically, Black Heart Bart was the most recent when he fired in 2016 at $2.25. So You Think won as a $1.70 favourite in 2010, while Weekend Hussler was too good in 2008 as a $1.50 chance.
Homesman missed out as popular elect in 2019 but claimed the event in 2018 as a $5 second favourite. In 2017, Bonneval claimed victory as as $5 chance, defeating Hartnell, who finished runner-up as a $2.10 pop. Northerly was a back-to-back winner in 2001-2002 and scored at the odds of $1.80 and $3. Surprisingly, he started second favourite to Magical Miss ($2.80) in 2002.
The average price of the winners since 2000 has been $13. Take Black Heart Bart out of the equation and that number drops to $8.
This year, Russian Camelot has been installed as a $1.90 favourite in early markets with Sportsbet ahead of Arcadia Queen at $5.50 and Mr Quickie at $7.50. The Chosen One and Harbour Views are both at $12, while the last start Feehan Stakes (1600m) winner, Humidor, heads the rest at $14.
The 1800 metre start at Caulfield can be awkward for horses drawn out wide, however, It’s A Dundeel came from barrier 12 in 2013 as did Perlin in 2005. Rubiscent and Elvstroem (2004) both jumped from 13. The average field size has been a tick over 12 runners. But 10 of the past 11 winners have drawn between barriers 1 to 6, including Black Heart Bart, who jumped from gate 6 last year.
This year, Arcadia Queen, The Chosen One, Humidor, Levendi, Gailo Chop and Trap For Fools have drawn those spots. Russian Camelot will have to defy that trend after drawing barrier 9.
But in better news for fans of the favourite, horses aged four have a great record in the Underwood, winning eight of the past 17 editions. The Danny O’Brien galloper is the sole four-year-old this year.
O’Brien is yet to win an Underwood. Murray Baker has won this race three times in the past 11 years and partners with Andrew Forsman. They take The Chosen One into the race. Lindsey Smith won with Black Heart Bart last year and will be hoping history repeats with the $101 shot, Trap For Fools.
The only jockey in this year’s edition that has tasted success in the Underwood is Damien Oliver, who rode Northerly in 2001. This year, Ollie is on Russian Camelot.
In terms of lead up races for the Underwood, seven winners have come out of the Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m), five out of the Feehan Stakes (1600m) and three came out of Memsie Stakes (1400m). This year, Russian Camelot was runner-up in the Makybe Diva Stakes, while So Si Bon was 3rd. Mr Quickie was runner-up in the Memsie Stakes. Humidor picked up the Feehan, while Harbour Views was 3rd in that race.
Suggested winner according to Underwood Stakes winning trends since 2000:
It really is a flip of the coin for Russian Camelot. A concern is the barrier and of the eight horses that started at $2 or below, only four have won the Underwood. However, he is the right age category and has the pick of the lead up form from a historical perspective. On trends, he gets the nod (just), while it might be worth having a saver on Humidor.