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UNDERWOOD STAKES – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

HISTORY: First run in 1924, the weight-for-age race is an important stepping stone to the major spring races in Melbourne

NOTABLE WINNERS: Phar Lap (1931), Ajax (1938-40), Tobin Bronze (1966), Rain Lover (1969), Bonecrusher (1986), Octagonal (1996), Northerly (2001-02) and So You Think (2010)

TALKING POINTS:

* The last mare to win was Tristarc in 1985

* The last three winners – It’s A Dundeel, Ocean Park and Lion Tamer – were all prepared by New Zealand trainers

* Jeune in 1994 is the last winner of the Underwood to go on to Melbourne Cup success in the same season

RACE ANALYSIS

PATTERN: The pace should come from Star Rolling, who led throughout to win the PB Lawrence Stakes first-up. Import Thought Worthy also has an on-pace racing pattern while Crackerjack King settled handy to the speed at his most recent Australian start. New Zealand mare Silent Achiever is versatile and usually races midfield while Foreteller will get back.

FANCIED RUNNERS: Silent Achiever is proven at the top level and at weight-for-age. She has a great second-up record and is the early favourite. Melbourne Cup fancy The Offer was doing his best work late when closing for fifth in the Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes and will be suited by a distance rise.

BEST OF THE OUTSIDERS: Former European Stipulate was ultra impressive when he came from midfield to win over 1700m at Caulfield last start. He faces a sharp rise in grade to Group One company but looks a promising stayer.

 
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