Preview, Trends & Analysis
The Underwood Stakes is one of the staple Group 1 events of the Melbourne spring carnival.
In 2020, The Underwood Stakes was run Sandown for the first time in its 97-year history.
Traditionally run at Caulfield over 1800 metres at Weight-for-Age level, it was a race inaugurated and first unveiled in 1924.
It holds a total prize pool of $750,000 AUD and is the richest race in Australia over this specific distance.
The race was endeared as a ‘Principal Race’ from 1924 to 1978 and gained Group 1 recognition from 1979 onwards.
The Underwood Stakes was not always run at ‘The Heath’ as Caulfield is colloquially to racing folk and the locals.
Williamstown Racecourse was the home of The Underwood Stakes from 1924 to 1947.
The Famous Winners and Record Results
It’s as exciting an honour roll as we see in any on the Australian racing calendar.
We can go all the way back to 1931 to reference a household name with Pharlap winning the race 90 years ago.
Closer to today Black Heart Bart (2016, 2019) scored a double in the race, but it was 2019 victory that sent people into a frenzy as he won the race at $101 despite being near the end of his illustrious career.
Ajax (1938, 1939, 1940) holds the record for most wins in the race and there have been a host of gallopers to have won the race twice.
Northerly (2001, 2002), Aquanita (1961, 1962), Lord (1958, 1960), Flying Halo (1953, 1954), Beau Gem (1949, 1950) Attley (1946, 1947), Young Idea (1935, 1937), Hall Mark (1933, 1934), Highland (1928, 1929) and Whittier (1924, 1925) are all multiple winners of the race.
Champion middle-distance star It’s A Dundeel, now known as Dundeel, pulled off one of biggest upsets of the race when he nabbed star mare Atalantic Jewel right on the line.
He may have went around a $7.5 elect, but Atlantic Jewel was highly fancied by many and started an odds-on favourite having gone into the race undefeated.
Bonecrusher (1986) used this as his platform prior to scoring arguably the most iconic Cox Plate win of all time.
Other famous winners include Elvstroem (2004), Mummify (2003), Tie The Knot (1998) and Octagonal (1996).
Barriers are going to be of utmost importance to the race this year, but it must be noted that Sandown is completely different track and feel for horses compared to Caulfield.
The wide expanses of Sandown will give every horse their chance for victory and it would pay to keep an eye out on what rail position we have closer to the day.
If the rail stays close to the true position, it might pay to follow horses who are drawn inside and will settle on the pace.
The winning barriers at Caulfield will have little significance to what occurs at Sandown on the day.
Since 1986, outright favourites have not had a particularly endearing record in this race.
Only nine outright favourites in the last 35 years have won the Underwood Stakes.
However, the last two years have seen the favourite collect the cheque with Russian Camelot (2020) and Zaaki (2021).
It is the male horses who dominated this event with the mares having a poor time of it in the last three decades.
New Zealand mare Bonneval (2017) broke a long-standing drought for girls in the race after becoming the first mare to win the vent since Tristarc in 1985.
The four-year-old gallopers have traditionally featured prominently in the Underwood Stakes
Horses of this age have been cheered home by punters six consecutive times from 2008 to 2013.
The main form lines for this race include the Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington a fortnight before, the Dato Tan Chin Nam (1600m) run at Moonee Valley and the Memsie Stakes (1400m) run at Caulfield in August.
No horse aside from Black Heart Bart (2019) has finished further back than fourth in their start prior since Always Aloof (1996) got the job done.
The Underwood Stakes Recent Winners
Black Heart Bart
Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman
Black Heart Bart
It’s A Dundeel
So You Think
The race will be run and won on the 26th of September at Sandown Racecourse.
- There will be eight other races on the card which includes the running of the Group 3 Sandown Stakes (1500m), the Listed Jim Moloney (1400m) and the Listed Testa Rossa Stakes (1300m).
- Punch in betdeluxe.com.au to your browser and find your home for all your different types of ways to bet not only on Group 1 Underwood Stakes Day but every race across Australia.
The winner and runners in the Underwood Stakes of the race may head towards the Cox Plate (2040m), the Caulfield Cup (2400m) or potentially a Melbourne Cup (3200m).