It’s not often we get the thrill of Group 1 racing on a Sunday, but that’s the case this weekend with the running of the Underwood Stakes at Sandown Hillside. The $1m weight for age feature is held over 1800m and has been won by some champions of...
In a hurry? We’ve listed all the quick facts that you need to know about the Underwood Stakes:
|Date||Sunday, 1st October, 2023|
|Racecourse||Sandown Racecourse, Melbourne, Australia|
The Underwood Stakes is a Group One race over 1,800m and is typically run at Caulfield Racecourse, however will be hosted at Sandown Racecourse in 2022. The race is for horses aged three or older and is run under weight-for-age conditions with a total prizemoney pool of $1,000,000. The 2023 Underwood Stakes will be held on Sunday, October 1st, and in 2022 the race was won by Alligator Blood.
After being historically held at Caulfield, the Underwood Stakes headed to Sandown Racecourse in 2021, making it the venue’s only Group One race on the calendar. The race is held on Sunday, making it a jam-packed weekend of sport with the Group One Moir Stakes on Friday night, the Golden Rose on Saturday and then capping off the weekend with this Group One weight-for-age classic.
The Underwood Stakes will see some of the best stayers in the country extend themselves to 1,800m with not just the newly increased $1M prizemoney on the line but also a ballot-exemption entry into the Caulfield Cup.
You may think that this means that the Underwood Stakes-Caulfield Cup double is a common occurrence however this has happened on just seven occasions. Meanwhile, 14 horses have been able to successfully complete the Underwood Stakes-Cox Plate double, most recently by Ocean Park in 2012.
This race has typically been challenged by the best middle distance stayers in the country with the likes of Phar Lap, Ajax, Lord, Rubiton, Northerly and So You Think winning the race since it was first run in 1924. In 2021, hot favourite Zaaki won the Underwood Stakes.
Given the race is still a while away and the field is not set, we are yet to come up with our Underwood Stakes tips for 2023, but be sure to read on below to get all of the information you need to know on the history and formlines for the race.
The Underwood Stakes is an Australian Group One race that brings some of the best horses and it attracts the attention of many Aussies who like to have a casual punt. Our expert tipsters will put together a short list of Underwood Stakes tips to look out for in the leadup to the big race.
Given nominations are yet to be accepted for the 2023 Underwood Stakes, it is hard to provide any updates at this time. However, as the Spring Carnival gets going, the horses that are targeting this race will become clearer and we will be able to provide you with updates.
If you are after Underwood Stakes horse tips, then we will keep you informed with which horses are likely to be running, so you can place your futures bets with confidence!
Unfortunately no bookmakers are currently providing Underwood Stakes odds, but we will keep on top of this for you and bring you the details when it comes in. When looking for Underwood Stakes tips, we have listed some key factors to success in the betting section below!
We will list The Sharks’ Underwood Stakes best tips for the race this year closer to the time of the race. Make sure you check back on this page for updates!
When beginning to look at Underwood Stakes betting, there are a lot of important factors to consider. Make sure you have a read on below before you place your bets:
Is Previous Form in the Underwood Stakes a Good Indicator of Future Success?
The Underwood Stakes has one of the highest number of repeat winners out of all of the Group Ones on the Australian Racing calendar. There have been 11 horses that have been able to win the race twice, eight of those winning in consecutive years, while one horse has been able to win the Underwood Stakes three times, Ajax from 1938-1940.
The most recent two-time winner of the Underwood Stakes is Black Heart Bart, who won the race in 2016 and then again just a handful of years ago, in 2019. That does seem to indicate that previous form in the Underwood Stakes may be a good indicator of future success, however since 2010 just four horses have finished in the top three more than once.
Black Heart Bart is one of those three, with his two wins in 2016 and 2019, while Homesman won in 2018 before finishing second to Black Heart Bart in 2019. Humidor is the third of those horses, coming third in 2018 behind Homesman and then coming second to Russian Camelot last year. Then in 2022, Zaaki was able to finish in third place, after winning the race in 2021.
Given that just four horses have been able to finish in the placings more than once over the last 12 years, previous form isn’t a must when looking for your Underwood Stakes winner.
Should I Bet On The Favourite in the Underwood Stakes?
While Russian Camelot won the 2020 Underwood Stakes as $1.55 favourite, and Zaaki won the 2021 edition at similarly short odds, they are just two of three favourites to win the race over the last 11 years. Black Heart Bart was $2.20 favourite when he won in 2016, but his 2019 win saw him start at a massive $101.
While only three favourites have won in the last 11 years, the race has still been good to punters over this time, with some well-backed horses coming through with the result. Just three of the last 11 winners started with double-digit odds or higher while four of the last six winners have been priced at $5 or shorter.
While you may not want the favourite, unless there is a clear gap in the market, it is clearly best to stick with well-backed thoroughbreds in the Underwood Stakes.
Formlines Heading into the Underwood Stakes
Previous winners of the Underwood Stakes typically contest the race second or third up, with the Group One Memsie Stakes and Group One Makybe Diva Stakes being key lead-up races.
The Underwood Stakes became an 1,800m event in 1994 and the first 16 winners at the distance were at least second up, with eight of those being third up. That indicates that you will want your winner to have had at least one run under their belt and potentially even two!
In 2022, Alligator Blood contested the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes, and he finished in second place behind I’m Thunderstruck, by just 0.1L.
Russian Camelot contested the Underwood Stakes second up after first running in the Makybe Diva, where he finished second behind Fierce Impact. Following his win, Russian Camelot went on to come 2nd in the Caulfield Stakes, 3rd in the Cox Plate and 8th in the Melbourne Cup.
Black Heart Bart, when he won in 2019, contested the Underwood Stakes second up on the quick back-up after running in the Group One Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes the week before. He came just 11th of 14 horses in that race but came out to win the Underwood by 0.2 lengths.
When he won in 2016, he was the clear form horse coming in. He won the G1 1,400m Memsie first up and then came second in the G1 1,600m Makybe Diva before going on to win the Underwood as $2.20 favourite.
When looking further back to Homesman in 2018, he was freshened before a second up run in the Underwood Stakes, contesting the Group 2 Feehan Stakes three weeks earlier and finishing second.
Unfortunately the more recent history doesn’t make our picture any clearer, given the winners of the last three years have all had very different lead ups. However seven of the last 11 winners, including both Russian Camelot (2020) and Black Heart Bart (2016), contested the Makybe Diva stakes prior to running in the Underwood and that may be the main race to look at when deciding who may win.
Russian Camelot throws a spanner in the age data, given he is a European horse and on a slightly different calendar to Australian horses. He is half a year behind the other horses he goes up against, and won this horse as a three-year-old, despite being a four-year-old by Australian standards.
Even without Russian Camelot counting for them, four-year-olds have won the most over recent history, taking out five of the last 11 Underwood Stakes. The five others have been taken out by different ages, with Russian Camelot being three, along with horses aged six, seven, eight and nine. That gives a clear advantage to horses aged four and something to look for in this year’s event.
Here is a table indicating the ages of winners of the Underwood Stakes since the 2011 edition:
|Age||# of Wins|
Given the weight-for-age conditions of the Underwood Stakes, there are not many different weights that horses have carried to victory. Given his youth, Russian Camelot carried a light, for male horse standards, 56.5kg to victory in 2020.
Only one horse has carried less over the last 10 years, Bonnveal in 2017. Being the only mare to win over that time, she was tasked with carrying just 56kg, which she did so comfortably.
Three entires, ungelded male horses, have carried 58kg to victory while the most common, and a clear indicator when looking for success, is six geldings carrying 59kg have won the race over the last 11 years.
Here is a table indicating the weights of winners of the Underwood Stakes since the 2011 edition:
|Weight||# of Wins|
As mentioned, just one mare, female horse, has been able to win the Underwood stakes over the last 11 years, with the race being dominated by males. One colt, Russian Camelot, three horses and six geldings make up the other nine winners over that stretch, with a clear dominance by the latter.
Based on our data that we have analysed so far, your Underwood Stakes best bet can be split in two options- either a four-year-old or a gelding. If you have a four-year-old gelding, it may be a good option, but ensure that they have had at least one run. The Makybe Diva Stakes looks a good lead up race and horses that have raced in that prior to the Underwood should be respected.
Given the race is still a while away, we are yet to compile our best bets for the 2023 Underwood Stakes. Check back closer to the race!
Long before the Underwood Stakes field is officially announced – online bookies will open early markets, or all-in markets, for Underwood stakes betting. This is prime time to bet on your favourite horse, as you might be able to bet on strong contenders for the 2023 Underwood Stakes at double-digit odds.
Once the bookies release the 2023 Underwood Stakes odds, they will obviously fluctuate frequently in the lead up to the race, especially when we have a better idea of which horses will be targeting the race and their form leading into the race.
Punting early on these markets can find you a favourite at prices of $10 or more, which will retain you a much higher return on investment. However, there is increased risk with doing this and you should be well aware.
Depending on when you place a futures bet on the 2023 Underwood Stakes, your horse may not even run but you won’t get your money back, occurring when the market is ‘All-In’ or closer to the starting date. If you are betting when it says ‘Before Noms’, you have the security of receiving your money back if your horse doesn’t run.
The 2023 Underwood Stakes odds are not released just yet. Please check back at a date closer to race day.
While details about the field for 2023 isn’t available yet, take a look at the key runners in the field from the race in 2022.
Although just six runners lined up in the 2022 Underwood Stakes at Sandown, it was a quality field of Group 1 performed gallopers and an intriguing contest on paper. Run on the Hillside track, the surface was a Good4, perfect for racing.
After a brilliant return in the Memsie, followed up by an eye-catching win in the Makybe Diva Stakes, I’m Thunderstruck, was sent out $2.15 favourite for the race with his regular rider Mark Zahra in the saddle.
All Star Mile winner, Zaaki, was hot on his heels at $2.70, after a dominant first up win in the Tramway Stakes at Randwick. Jamie Kah would take over riding duties from James McDonald, which was no loss according to many.
The Ben & JD Hayes trained galloper, Mr Brightside, was looking for four wins on the trot, after winning the Doncaster, PB Lawrence and Feehan, and was well supported by punters. His official starting price was $7.50.
Alligator Blood was the other runner under double figures at $8.00, after his gutsy second in the Makybe Diva Stakes a fortnight earlier. Jockey Tim Clark, who won the Stradbroke Handicap on the 6YO gelding, was reportedly intent on leading as he did in the Makybe Diva, and the small field was sure to be to his liking.
With the 2023 Underwood Stakes yet to be run and won, let’s have a look back at the 2022 Underwood Stakes to see if there are any key performance indicators that can help us find the winner of this year’s Group 1 feature.
After a clean getaway, Alligator Blood, was sent forward, as expected, by jockey Tim Clark and had an economical run in front. Despite the race being 1800m, he ran the last 600m in a sizzling 33.74, making it near impossible for anything to run him down and in doing so, made it Group 1 win number three.
One of the outsiders of the small field, Mo’unga, ran out of his skin to claim second place. After coming off the bridle prior to the home turn, he rallied well under the urgings of Hugh Bowman and was beaten only 0.75L.
His stablemate and well fancied commodity, Zaaki, was a further 0.2L away in third. After sitting on the heels of Alligator Blood in the run and looming ominously at the furlong, he weakened the final 100m of the race.
Despite missing a place, race favourite, I’m Thunderstruck, was far from disgraced in fourth place, beaten only 1.05L. The race set up was far from his liking, with the small field and slow tempo enough to bring him unstuck.
You’ve read the words, now watch the video! Have a squiz below at the 2022 Underwood Stakes race:
The results for the upcoming Underwood Stakes are not yet available, but in the meantime, you can have a look below at all the recent past winners:
|2020||Russian Camelot||Humidor||Arcadia Queen|
|2019||Black Heart Bart||Homesman||Gailo Chop|
|2016||Black Heart Bart||He Or She||Lucia Valentina|
|2014||Foreteller||Happy Trails||Crackerjack King|
|2013||It’s A Dundeel||Atlantic Jewel||Dear Demi|
|2012||Ocean Park||Voila Ici||December Draw|
|2011||Lion Tamer||Southern Speed||Midas Touch|
|2010||So You Think||Dariana||Metal Bender|