Spring is certainly in full swing with the raging Cox Plate favourite Zaaki making the trip down to Melbourne to contest the 2021 Underwood Stakes.However, Zaaki’s presence has scared away some of his rivals, with just five runners set to line ...
In a hurry? We’ve listed all the quick facts that you need to know about the Underwood Stakes:
|Date||Saturday, 25th September, 2021 (usually raced on a Sunday)|
|Racecourse||Sandown Racecourse, Melbourne, Australia (temporary change from Caulfield for 2021 race)|
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 2021. 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. This year’s Underwood Stakes will be held on Sunday, September 26th and was won by Russian Camelot in 2020.
After being historically held at Caulfield, the Underwood Stakes will head 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 sharing Saturday with the AFL Grand Final 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 2020, Russian Camelot won the Underwood Stakes, which was his second win and only career Group One win.
Given the race is still weeks away and the field is not set, we are yet to come up with our Underwood Stakes tips for 2021, 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 usually raced on a Sunday so it doesn’t clash with the AFL Grand Final. But this year, the Underwood Stakes will be raced on Saturday, the same day as the AFL Grand Final, as it is now being held in Perth due to Covid-19.
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 2021 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!
Looking ahead to this year’s Underwood Stakes odds, Zaaki has shot to favouritism after Annabel Neasham said that she wants the gelding to tackle this race second up, if COVID-19 restrictions allow her team to get into Melbourne for the lead-up. After taking the Queensland Winter Carnival by storm, Zaaki will go to the G2 Tramway Stakes, in Sydney, first up and then be dictated by restrictions for the remainder of his Cox Plate preparation.
Incentivise is next in the market at $7 and given the gelding is targeting, and favourite for, the Caulfield Cup and the winner of this race gets ballot-exemption entry into that race, there is no surprise to see him where he is. Having won six straight races with distances ranging from 1600m to 2400m, there is an air of promise and expectation surrounding the horse.
Colette is on the next line of betting and the only other horse in single figure odds, priced at $9. As a three-year-old, Colette won four straight races with distance ranges of 1600m – 2400m, with the G1 Australian Oaks being the best of those.
Then as a four-year-old, she performed best at 1600m, winning The Golden Eagle in Spring before coming second to Verry Elleegant in the G1 Chipping Norton, both at that distance. Behind them are three talented horses that have all won at least one Group One, being Probabeel ($11), Sir Dragonet ($12) and Inspirational Girl ($12).
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!
Our Underwood Stakes tips are available and you can find our runner by runner preview here. But, long story short, we like Zaaki and Superstorm in an exacta or quinella to win the Underwood Stakes. There are also a few others we like, including a double-figure roughie that could be too hard to catch, but to find out more information on those Underwood Stakes tips, you’ll have to chat to The Shark!
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 two 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 three 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.
Given that just three horses have been able to finish in the placings more than once over the last 11 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, he is just one of two favourites to win the race over the last 10 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 two favourites have won in the last 10 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 10 winners started with double-digit odds or higher while four of the last five 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!
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 six of the last 10 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 10 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 five geldings carrying 59kg have won the race over the last 10 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 10 years, with the race being dominated by males. One colt, Russian Camelot, three horses and five 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.
Our Underwood Stakes tips are available and you can find our runner by runner preview here. But, long story short, we like Zaaki and Superstorm for in an exacta or quinella to win the Underwood Stakes. There are also a few others we like, including a double-figure roughie that could be too hard to catch, but to find out more information on those Underwood Stakes tips, you’ll have to chat to The Shark!
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 2021 Underwood Stakes at double-digit odds.
Once the bookies release the 2021 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 2021 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 2021 Underwood Stakes betting odds are already out and are in ‘before noms’ mode meaning you will get a refund if your horse doesn’t nominate. Make sure to compare these prices between different bookies, as although they usually agree on a horse’s price, you may stumble across much higher odds – with an obvious higher profit involved.
The below table shows the current 2021 Underwood Stakes odds as of late September, courtesy of Sportsbet:
|The Chosen One||$17|
Given the Underwood Stakes is the furthest distance for a Group One race to this stage of the carnival, and is a clear lead up race for the Turnbull Stakes, Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate, it often attracts an incredible, strong field.
The final Underwood Stakes field will be announced on Tuesday, September 22nd and is likely to have some of the best Victorian-based stayers competing in the race.
While the Underwood Stakes field is yet to be released for 2021, we can take a look back to the 2020 field, headlined by the now-retired Russian Camelot and Arcadia Queen:
|1. Gailo Chop (59kg)||4||Dean Yendall||Matthew Williams|
|2. Humidor (59kg)||3||Craig Williams||Chris Waller|
|3. Trap For Fools (59kg)||5||Declan Bates||Lindsey Smith|
|4. Levendi||–||–||Peter Gelagotis|
|5. So Si Bon (59kg)||7||Daniel Stackhouse||T Dabernig & B Hayes|
|6. Mr Quickie (59kg)||9||Damian Lane||Phillip Stokes|
|7. The Chosen One (59kg)||2||Michael Dee||M Baker & A Forsman|
|8. Harbour Views (59kg)||6||John Allen||Matthew Williams|
|9. Arcadia Queen (58kg)||1||William Pike||Grant & Alane Williams|
|10. Russian Camelot (56.5kg)||8||Damien Oliver||Danny O’Brien|
With the race yet to be run, we still don’t know what the Underwood Stakes results for 2021 will be! However, check back in after the race and we will have all of the information on how the big race went and what the results are.
Looking back at the 2020 race, Russian Camelot had the perfect sit and then peeled wide on to the better part of the track to win by 1.8 lengths, ahead of Humidor and Arcadia Queen. Damien Oliver had the talented colt in the first pair, one off the fence, the entire trip and was able to peel to the better part of the Caulfield track, out wide, and storm down the straight to win.
Humidor, who finished second, was actually back in the field, sitting eighth of nine runners and on the fence. Craig Williams then had the gelding make his way up the rails to sit behind Arcadia Queen coming into the straight and then use an exceptional turn of foot to run down the outside of her to finish second.
Arcadia Queen, who finished 2.3 lengths behind Russian Camelot in third, was one back on the fence for most of the trip but got stuck on the inferior inside ground and couldn’t keep up in the straight.
Trap For Fools, who was the clear leader throughout the race, ran out of legs to finish fifth overall. Harbour Views, who was the clear backmaker of the race, coming last throughout, was able to power home to finish sixth, just 0.5 lengths behind Trap For Fools and 4.2 lengths back Russian Camelot.
You’ve read the words, now watch the video! Have a squiz below at the 2020 Underwood Stakes race:
Here are the full Underwood Stakes results from 2020:
|1st||10. Russian Camelot (56.5kg)||Damien Oliver||–|
|2nd||2. Humidor (59kg)||Craig Williams||1.8L|
|3rd||9. Arcadia Queen (58kg)||William Pike||2.3L|
|4th||1. Gailo Chop (59kg)||Dean Yendall||2.4L|
|5th||3. Trap For Fools (59kg)||Declan Bates||3.7L|
|6th||8. Harbour Views (59kg)||John Allen||4.2L|
|7th||6. Mr Quickie (59kg)||Damian Lane||4.9L|
|8th||The Chosen One (59kg)||Michael Dee||6.2L|
|9th||So Si Bon (59kg)||Daniel Stackhouse||6.9L|
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|