2022 Underwood Stakes Runner By Runner Preview, Odds & Tips

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Fri 23rd September 2022


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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 the turf including ‘Big Red’, Phar Lap, in 1931.

Last year’s Underwood winner, Zaaki, has come up favourite in this year’s small field with Dabble and is currently $2.50. Last start G1 winner, I’m Thunderstruck, is a $2.80 chance and in-form 5YO, Mr Brightside, is also well in commission at $4.40. Alligator Blood is next best at $7.50 and rounds out the winning hopes according to the market.

However, we know with horse racing that anything can happen and small fields throw up uncanny results time and time again. So, we have dissected each of the horses’ chances for you and provided our horse racing tips! Read on below to find our runner by runner preview of the 2022 Underwood Stakes along with The Shark’s best tips. 

1. Zaaki (5) – $2.50F
Jockey – Jamie Kah 59kg
Trainer – Annabel Neasham

Won this race last year in dominant fashion. Resumed this prep with a good win in the Tramway on heavy ground. Second up record is good and the 1800m suits him down to the ground. The one to beat.

2. I’m Thunderstruck (6) – $2.80
Jockey – Mark Zahra 59kg
Trainer – Mick Price & Michael Kent Jnr

Ran a huge race first up in the Memsie before coming from the clouds the last furlong to nail Alligator Blood on the line in the Makybe Diva last start. Should be ready to peak third up and the extra furlong should suit. Yes.

3. Alligator Blood (2) – $7.50
Jockey – Tim Clark 59kg
Trainer – Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott

Unlucky first up in the Memsie before leading everywhere bar the post in the Makybe Diva last start. Steps up to 1800m for the first time which looks a little query, but he’s racing well and has to be respected.

4. Mr Brightside (4) – $4.40
Jockey – Craig Williams 59kg
Trainer – Ben & JD Hayes

Doncaster winner at the end of last prep who resumed in fine style at Caulfield. Made mincemeat of them last start in the Feehan and is one from one here at Sandown. Should enjoy a nice run in the small field and will be looking to keep his unbeaten record going this prep before he tackles the Cox Plate. Key player.

5. Mo’unga (3) – $26
Jockey – Hugh Bowman 59kg
Trainer – Annabel Neasham

Didn’t have much luck first up at Randwick before a solid effort in the Makybe last start. Will get a soft run from the gate but needs to find a couple of lengths if he’s to beat the well fancied runners.

6. Nonconformist (1) – $71
Jockey – Jordan Childs 59kg
Trainer – Grahame Begg

Boxed on ok in the Memsie first up before a tiring 7th in the Makybe last start. Will be further improved third up and up to 1800m here but can’t have him on recent efforts.

Final Word

A small but strong field will line up in this year’s Underwood Stakes, with five of the six runners already G1 winners. As per usual in small fields, tactics will play a major role. Alligator Blood looks the likely leader with Zaaki and Mr Brightside to take a sit.

It’s hard not to be impressed with I’m Thunderstruck’s two runs this prep. He steps up to 1800m for the first time here and should appreciate the long Sandown straight. He will have to be on song to run down Zaaki and Mr Brightside, but if he’s close enough at the furlong I think he can do just that.

Mr Brightside is racing in red hot form after annihilating his rivals in the Feehan last start. There’s more depth here but he will roll forward and take plenty of running down.

Last year’s winner, Zaaki, resumed with a dominant win in the Tramway and skipped the George Main last week to be saved for this. Although I haven’t got him on top, he’s clearly the horse they have to run down and whatever beats him will win the race.

Alligator Blood is racing well but the 1800m is a query and Mo’unga shouldn’t be far away, but it’s hard to see them troubling the top three in the market as we edge closer to this year’s Cox Plate.

Underwood Stakes TipLogo

2. I’m Thunderstruck – Win ($2.80)

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*Odds correct at time of writing, courtesy of Dabble.

Tom has had a passion for the racing industry from the time he could talk. Wether it was at school, on smoko or in his own spare time, he always had his head in the form guide.He has worked hands on in the industry for years for some of Australia’s most highly regarded trainers. As a track rider, he has put the polish on some of the best horse flesh to grace the turf in recent years including the grey flash, Chautauqua, Golden slipper winner, Mossfun and sprinter-turned-sire, Deep Field to name a few.Tom has recently hung up the boots to focus solely on his punting and tipping services. With the objective of finding plenty of winners and value in the marketplace, you’ll be sure to have a fat wallet following his feature race previews.