Underwood Stakes Betting Preview
Is Appleby ready to capture another Australian Group One?
The rail is in the True the entire circuit with the surface a Good 4, however, with showers forecast over the weekend we could be on a soft so it may pay to keep your powder dry until race day.
Black Heart Bart (7) led and ran along last start in the Makybe Diva and a younger version of the gelding may have been able to hold on, however, that wasn’t the case last time out. Homesman (5) is another that can lead so they are the only two obvious frontrunners heading into Sunday’s WFA feature.
The Key Runners:
2. Humidor – D.Lane (59kg) (Barrier 1): $3.80* Is a proven Group One horse and cannot be discounted here. Finished seventh to Grunt in the Makybe Diva last time out when striking trouble so may pay to forgive. Prior to that, came from last, albeit taking the shortcuts, in knocking off Kementari and Kings Will Dream in the Memsie Stakes at this track. Remarkably, that was his first win at Caulfield in nine attempts. Is drawn to get a gun run behind the leaders, loves WFA conditions and if he spots a gap in the straight, watch for him to sprout wings!
7. Blair House – J.McDonald (59kg) (Barrier 6): $5*: A highly credentialed horse out of the Charlie Appleby barn. We saw what he was able to do with Jungle Cat last week and we think the same will happen again here. Blair House was simply brilliant winning a Group One two starts back, knocking off the highly rated Benbatl before failing in the Dubai Turf Group One on March 31. Has a good turn of foot and is the x-factor here with J Mac aboard. Distance is cherry ripe.
8. Homesman – B.Melham (59kg) (Barrier 5): $8*: Brings strong form lines into the race. Comes into this second-up where he has won previously and if his first run back is any indication, then this guy is definitely hard to beat. Flashed home from a midfield position to finish second to Magic Consol in the Group Two Feehan Stakes on Sept 8, beating home Night’s Watch and Odeon who went on to finish first and third in the Naturalism last week. The distance isn’t a concern either. Eachway all day!
9. Grunt – D.Oliver (58kg) (Barrier 10): $3*: Could not have been more impressive in winning the Group One Makybe Diva last start. Benefitted from a fast tempo and from a midfield position, produced a strong sustained burst to clear out and demolish his rivals. Is 0-2 at Caulfield and has come up with gate 10, so where he gets to in the run is a question. It is likely that he will push forward and try to find a spot. Hard to beat but needs a genuine speed on.
10. Bonneval – R.Bayliss (57kg) (Barrier 9): $19*: Is the value runner in the event. Forget she went around first-up after sitting near last for most of the Feehan Stakes and unable to get into the race at any stage. She won this race 12 months ago beating Hartnell and Gailo Chop and has won second-up in the past. Is likely to get back again but has the class to figure in the finish.
Blair House ($5*)
This is going to be a very intriguing race but we cannot go past the Appleby runner in Blair House. He produced Jungle Cat first-up last week to win the Sir Rupert Clarke and another Group One could be just around the corner here. A few corporates have already reported that there is early money for the son of Pivotal.
We are going to play around the favourites just for the sake of some value, especially if you have been on the receiving end of a hard weekend on the punt.
- 70% of the bank on Blair House to win ($5*)
- 30% of the bank on Homesman to win ($8*)