What a way to finish what should be, a fantastic days racing at Caulfield. The Underwood Stakes has attracted a quality field of fourteen runners with the main focus centred round the match-up between Atlantic Jewel and Puissance De Lune. They are the only two runners under double figures with Atlantic Jewel ($1.50) and Puissance De Lune ($6.50) meaning that there is some exceptional value to be had about some quality horses.
1. GREEN MOON – B Prebble (10)
Last year’s Melbourne Cup winner produced a very good effort first up in the Memsie Stakes three weeks ago. He was third last at the 300m and missed a run at the 200m, before extending well late when fifth, three lengths behind Atlantic Jewel. Will be giving them a start again from barrier ten but can only be better for the first up effort.
2. MANIGHAR – D Stackhouse (3)
Took a while too but he finally produced his best last preparation and ran fourth in the G1 Doomben Cup (behind Beaten Up) and was nosed out on the line by Quintessential in the G2 Eagle Farm Cup. He returned with a good effort in the Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) a fortnight ago when sixth behind Foreteller and Puissance De Lune. He ran sixth (as even money favourite) in this race last year when second in the Makybe Diva and would be prepared to wait for him in something longer still.
3. MR. MOET – D Oliver (13)
Western Australian galloper who ran some cracking races in the G1 CF Orr and G2 Peter Young Stakes earlier in the year. He had three barrier trials, winning the latest two, in preparation for his return in the Makybe Diva Stakes and was sent out a 10/1 chance. From a wide gate he had little luck in the run and finished ninth (beaten 3.9 lengths). Unfortunately for connections, he’s drawn wide again here and that’ll make his job a touch one.
4. FORETELLER – C Newitt (11)
Winner of the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) during the spring, the 7yo trained by Chris Waller added another Group 1 – the Makybe Diva Stakes, to his resume last start. After a fantastic return in the G2 Warwick Stakes first up, the son of Dansili appreciated the step up to the mile and the open spaces of Flemington to finish over the top of Puissance De Lune and win by a short half head. Will get back again from barrier eleven but hasn’t ran a bad race at this level recently and has two wins from three starts at this track. Hard to knock.
5. HAPPY TRAILS – D Dunn (4)
He resumed from a fifteen week spell with a closing fifth of nine on a slow track in the G3 Spring Stakes (1200m) at Morphettville before venturing across to Victoria and lining up in the G1 Memsie Stakes. He settled handy to the speed from a good draw and boxed on well despite being no match for his rivals over the last 100m and finished seventh, only 3.5 lengths. Drawn to get a similar run in transit and will be fitter again but at this trip (he’s yet to win past a mile) and this class, he’ll again struggle late.
6. ETHIOPIA – R McLeod (1)
A lightly raced 5yo who has only the one win from ten starts but it’s a good one – the ATC Derby 2012. Since that victory, the son of Helenus has only had six starts, including a fourth in last year’s Cox Plate and only one start since resuming from a twenty week spell. That was a pleasing effort when settling handier to the speed than anticipated in the Makybe Diva Stakes and sticking on well for fifth. He may try and take up a forward position again from the inside gate and will be better for the first up run but like he did in the Makybe, think he’ll find a few too quick for him over this trip.
7. SEA MOON – C Williams (5)
He was very well supported when making his Australian debut in the Makybe Diva Stakes a fortnight ago and started 3/1 second favourite behind Puissance De Lune. Unfortunately for connections and supporters, the 6yo by Beat Hollow stumbled badly at the jump and thereafter, was always well back in the field. He has come up $15.00 in early markets which appears good each-way value for a horse who was 3/1 last start and had genuine excuses.
8. PUISSANCE DE LUNE – G Boss (14)
He made it four straight wins with a smart ¾ victory in the G2 P B Lawrence Stakes (1400m) when first up from a twenty-three week spell. Off that effort, he was then sent out a short 11/8 favourite for his first tilt at an Australian Group 1 race – the Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) He had a nice run throughout and was produced at the right time but second up, didn’t appear to have the same turn of foot and he was collared right on the line by Foreteller. Wouldn’t think he would have lost too many admirers in the Makybe but does have an awkward draw to contend with here.
9. WALDPARK – B Melham (9)
A former German galloper who made his Austrlian debut in the Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) where he went forward in the run and settled just of the pace. He could only hold his position in the run to the line and finished eighth, 3 ¾ lengths behind Foreteller. Will only strip fitter for that run and the longer trip suits. Would expect an improved effort here.
10. MY QUEST FOR PEACE – L Nolen (2)
His first Australian run saw him place fifth in the G1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) last year but in four subsequent runs since, the Peter Moody trained galloper hasn’t been able to get as close to a place. He was first up from a brief Brisbane campaign in the Makybe Diva Stakes and failed to make much of an impression form the tail of the field. Doubt he’ll be able to take advantage of his inside draw and can’t see him running some of his competitors down over this trip.
11. IT’S A DUNDEEL – J McDonald (12)
The High Chaparral colt dominated his age last season, claiming the Randwick Guineas, Rosehill Guineas and ATC Derby in consecutive starts. Those three wins took his record to eight wins from thirteen starts and judging by his luckless return in the Memsie Stakes, his first run back from an eighteen week spell, he looks set to add to it this spring. He found himself on the leader’s back in the Memsie Stakes but just had nowhere to go until inside the last 100m and once clear, he hit the line well to finished fourth (beaten 2 ¾ lengths). No doubt should’ve placed in the Memsie and is good enough to overcome the wide draw.
12. ATLANTIC JEWWEL – M Rodd (7)
A truly outstanding effort by this mare who returned to racing in the G1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) after sixteen months on the sideline to demolish a quality field in the manner she did, winning by 2 ¼ length with plenty to spare. As expected, she repeated the does last week when, in the weaker G2 Top Cuts Stakes (1600m) for mares, she again won in a canter by 2 ½ lengths, running faster time than Fiorente did in claiming the G1 Dato’tan Chin Nam Stakes over the same trip a few races later. She looks set to make 10 out of 10.
13. SILENT ACHIEVER – S Arnold (8)
New Zealand mare who wasn’t that far off the pace in some very smart races during the autumn which included a head second to Fiveandahalfstar in the G1 BMW (2400m). She too returned to racing in the Memsie Stakes and from an inside draw, had no luck at any stage in attempting to get clear in the home straight. She finished eleventh of thirteen, some six lengths behind Atlantic Jewel but went to the line under a hold. Whilst she’s capable on a dry surface, her best runs in Australia have been on a slow track and at Moonee Valley where she won the G2 Crystal Mile, so any cut out of the track should be beneficial.
14. DEAR DEMI – B Rawiller (6)
Competed well and consistently over a long period of time last preparation (Feb – June) with the highlights being her wins in the G2 Surround Stakes and G3 Run To The Roses. She returned to racing with a good effort in the G2 Let’s Elope Stakes at Flemington a fortnight ago where, from last on the turn, she made good ground over the final stages to finish within 2 ½ lengths of Commanding Jewel. Fitter again for the run but faces her biggest test to date here.
How do they put Atlantic Jewel? She’s been freakish in both wins back, still hasn’t been tested and with only a fair pace predicted in the race, she’ll be in the right spot from barrier seven. It’ll be interesting to see how Puissance De Lune backs up here – and from the wide gate, where he will find himself in the run. Few questions marks over him for the first time before this race. At his last four attempts at Group 1 level, Foreteller has won two, finished second in other and was finishing well when 1.4 lengths behind Fiveandahalfstar in The BMW. He’ll be finishing well again and again, represents good value at $19.00.
- ATLANTIC JEWEL
- GREEN MOON
- PUISSANCE DE LUNE