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UNDERWOOD STAKES

1800m, $750,000, weight-for-age at Caulfield

HISTORY

* First run in 1924 when won by Whittier

NOTABLE WINNERS

* Whittier (1924-25); Phar Lap (1931); Ajax (1938-39-40); Tobin Bronze (1966); Rain Lover (1970); Bonecrusher (1986); Jeune (1994); Octagonal (1996); Northerly (2001-02); Weekend Hussler (2008); So You Think (2010); It’s A Dundeel (2013); Bonneval (2017)

* Waitangirua and My Brown Jug dead-heated for first in 1980

TALKING POINTS

* 2017 winner Bonneval and 2016 winner Black Heart Bart are both aiming to become first horse since Northerly in 2001 and 2002 to win the race twice

* Murray Baker, who trains Bonneval in partnership with Andrew Forsman, is aiming for his fifth Underwood win. Along with Bonneval (2017) he won with It’s A Dundeel (2013), Lion Tamer (2011), The Phantom (1990)

* English trainer Charlie Appleby has international visitor Blair House making his Australian debut

* Appleby is aiming for his second Melbourne Group One win after Jungle Cat’s Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes victory last weekend

* Grunt is chasing his first win on his home track at Caulfield having won two Group One races at Flemington

WHAT THE KEY PLAYERS ARE SAYING:

“We want to see an improvement in her. We’ll be happy to see her finish a lot closer” – Bonneval’s co-trainer Murray Baker

“He is a winner of the Group One Jebel Hatta at Meydan, and I think the Australian style of racing will suit him. He travelled over fine and has settled in well at Werribee” – Blair House’s trainer Charlie Appleby

“Michael Walker rode him in a gallop at Flemington on Tuesday and said he felt sharp so I’m hoping he can bounce back to form on Sunday” – Comin’ Through’s trainer Chris Waller

 
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