Caulfield: Underwood Stakes Day, 30 Sept 2018
To complete the weekends racing schedule we have a 9 race card at Caulfield featuring the Group 1 Underwood Stakes. There are a couple of other races of interest, including the Caulfield Guineas Prelude for both the colts and fillies.
Because it’s a full race day, we won’t look at every race that’s on offer but we will look at all the races that should be of interest to punters including those races mentioned above.
Race 3 is the Inglis Cup. There are some decent gallopers lining up here, including former VRC Derby winner PRIZED ICON, consistent local BONDEIGER, plus BARRY THE BAPTIST who races well on the Victorian country circuit. There’s a horse I featured last week called OCTABELLO who came fifth at Caulfield, who I think is a very progressive type coming through the grades. Sydney mare NETTOYER is entered for this, but I’m unsure if she will start. If she does she will probably line up as the second favourite, judging by the looks of the market so far.
BFF Picks: Prized Icon, Nettoyer, Octabello
Race 5 is the 1200m sprint, the Testa Rossa Stakes. This has the makings of a very good race too, with a number of credentialled horses lining up, such as Booker, So Si Bon, Kemono, Duke of Brunswick, and the Godolphin runner Trekking. BOOKER has always been a popular horse here in Melbourne, and he is resuming and looks like a definite prospect in this race. KEMONO is a former Japanese horse who is now with the Darren Weir stable. He has a big reputation but he didn’t really live up to the hype in his first race. He’s carrying top weight in this and that won’t help, but Weir has big wraps on him. The interest factor in this race is whether or not the pair of SO SI BON and DUKE OF BRUNSWICK actually behave on the race track. They’ve both been accused of nipping at other horses while racing but seeing as they are both geldings perhaps their attitude might change for the better? Viewers will want to keep an eye out on these two as the race develops. TREKKING is looking like the favourite, and as such that’s where my money is going, based on his form to date.
BFF Picks: Trekking, Booker, Kemono
Race 6 is the Caulfield Guineas Prelude for the Colts over 1400m. It’s a pretty big line up of colts and there’s no real standout contender here, so chances are actually spread right across the field. The favourite is likely to be DECLARATIONOFHEART, known to be a strong finisher and has a good barrier draw from the awkward 1400m gate. WAGNER is the Godolphin entrant in this race and brings super form into it. He’s a winner this prep, and will command a fair bit of attention in the betting ring. I like the credentials of the Lindsay Park 3-year-old GOOD N’FAST. This young bloke looks like he’s got a career in front of him, so as the second favourite at present, everyone will have their eye on him this Sunday. The well-bred colt, MARCEL FROM MADRID is another interesting runner. From the OTI Racing stable, they’ll be using this race as a guide for the Caulfield Guineas coming up in 3 weeks time. Not the worst of chances. During the early autumn of this year, LONGLEAF was a definite contender around the Blue Diamond timeframe. He didn’t quite kick on, as rivals like Written By went on to bigger and better things. I think the jury is still out on this horse, so it will be interesting to see what he’s capable of in a race like this.
BFF Picks: DeclarationOfHeart, Wagner, Good N’Fast
Race 7 is the Caulfield Guineas Prelude for fillies over 1400m. I’m not really sure how many fillies will actually line up in the Caulfield Guineas versus the One Thousand Guineas. The only real difference is the prize money so you can bet your bottom dollar that if given the opportunity, the girls will go for the richer Caulfield Guineas instead. The smart money is likely to go on the Newcastle filly SMART MELODY who is unbeaten at this point of her career. I doubt that the other contenders will get anywhere near her, to be honest. Other possibilities include Group 1 winning EL DORADO DREAMING, the New Zealand filly PEACEFUL to be ridden by James McDonald who comes from the Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman stable. Then there’s the exciting THRILLSTER, but punters may be put off by her very wide barrier draw. MUSIC BAY, from Adelaide, also features strongly in the betting and has good form, but I don’t think the South Australian form quite stacks up against the Melbourne and Sydney form, unfortunately.
BFF Picks: Smart Melody, El Dorado Dreaming, Peaceful
Race 8 is the main feature today, being the Group 1 Underwood Stakes over 1800m. It’s hard to look past the form of Group 1 winner and British galloper BLAIR HOUSE. If Jungle Cat’s win was a surprise last weekend for Charlie Appleby, then his latest charge should be right in the firing line for this. I quite like the other ex British galloper HOMESMAN, who also appears to be a decent chance in this. The locals in HUMIDOR and GRUNT should also appeal in the betting odds. They will likely start favourites. It’s a small field of 10 but it should result in an exciting race nonetheless.
BFF Picks: Blair House, Grunt, Homesman