Underwood Stakes Tips & Preview 2022

Underwood Stakes Tips & Preview


Looking for Underwood Stakes tips and best bets? We dissect times and form to find the winner of the 2022 Underwood Stakes at Sandown.


A small but select field of six runners have accepted for the Underwood Stakes and it is Zaaki that has been installed as the $2.70 favourite with bet365, just ahead of the last start Maybe Diva Stakes (1600m) winner, I’m Thunderstruck at $3. 

Mr Brightside is at $4.40, while the runner-up out of the Maybe Diva Stakes, Alligator Blood, is at $8. Mo’unga at $23 and Nonconformist at $81 are the others in the field. 


Zaaki won this race last year as a $1.18 favourite ahead of Probabeel and comes in with an identical formline, having won the Tramway Stakes (1400m) at Randwick when resuming, just like he did last year 

The Anabel Neasham-trained galloper settled in the lead on September 3 and was never headed, going 12.8 lengths faster than standard benchmark. Last year he improved a couple of lengths on figures to take out this race, going 11.8 lengths faster than standard and in the autumn, he improved nine lengths on figures when second up to claim the All-Star Mile (1600m). 

Best last start benchmark figures belong to I’m Thunderstruck, who clawed his way to victory over Alligator Blood in a memorable edition of the Maybe Diva Stakes this year at Flemington. 

The Mick Price and Michael Kent Jnr-trained galloper was second up that day and went 14.6 lengths faster than standard. He held his rating when third up in the autumn to finish runner-up behind Zaaki in the All-Star Mile. 

The son of Shocking then finished runner-up in the Doncaster Mile (1600m) before bombing out in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m). Slight question mark stepping up to the 1800m but the consensus from the stable is that he has come back a better horse this time around. Alligator Blood also steps up to the 1800m for the first time. 

Mo’unga and Nonconformist were also in action in the Makybe Diva Stakes, finishing 3rd and 7th respectively. That was Mo’unga’s best performance in some time. Nonconformist is capable of improvement out to the 1800m and has also accepted for the JRA Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on Friday night. 

Mr Brightside conquered I’m Thunderstruck in the Doncaster earlier this year. He is 5kg worse off at the weights from that run but it is hard to knock his form so far this spring, having won the PB Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield and the Feehan Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley. 

He went just 6.6 lengths faster than standard at the Valley but that came off a slow tempo. The five-year-old went 11.8 lengths faster when winning the Doncaster earlier this year and can measure up to this lot. 


Zaaki might look to cross over and dictate from barrier 5 but I wouldn’t be surprised if Alligator Blood kicks up to hold the lead from barrier 2. Mr Brightside is likely to settle handy, while Mo’unga, I’m Thunderstruck and Nonconformist are likely to settle in the second half. I am expecting another big run from I’m Thunderstruck. He has hit his straps as a five-year-old and I really liked how he knuckled down over the last 200m at Flemington. He is racing like the step up to the 1800m should suit this time around and I am not too concerned that he couldn’t go with them over the 2000m in the Queen Elizabeth on a Heavy track earlier this year. He should be in touch in the small field and we can look forward to another big finish from the budding star.