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.
New Zealand-trained horses won three times on the trot from 2011-13 and again in 2017 with Bonneval.
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.
Barrier six has produced the most wins with 6 records.
Barrier three and seven produced 5 wins a piece.
Underwood Stakes winner jumping from a double-digit barrier with only one of the winners from 2008 – 2022 saluting from a wide barrier – (It’s A Dundeel, 2013).
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.
The Underwood Stakes Recent Winners
|2022||Alligator Blood||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Tim Clark||$8.1|
|2021||Zaaki||Annabel Neasham||Craig Williams||$1.20|
|2020||Russian Camelot||Danny O’Brien||Damien Oliver||$1.50|
|2019||Black Heart Bart||Lindsey Smith||Brad Rawiller||$101|
|2018||Homesman||Liam Howley||Ben Melham||$5|
|2017||Bonneval||Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman||Hugh Bowman||$4.4|
|2016||Black Heart Bart||Darren Weir||Brad Rawiller||$2.2|
|2015||Mourinho||Peter Gelagotis||Vlad Duric||$18|
|2014||Foreteller||Chris Waller||Glen Boss||$6.5|
|2013||It’s A Dundeel||Murray Baker||James McDonald||$7|
|2012||Ocean Park||Gary Hennessey||Danny Nikolic||$8|
|2011||Lion Tamer||Murray Baker||Michael Rodd||$16|
|2010||So You Think||Bart Cummings||Steven Arnold||$1.75|
The race will be run and won on the 1st of October, 2023 at Sandown Racecourse.
- There will be 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).