Skip to main content

Underwood Stakes preview

The action hots up every week in Melbourne through to the Melbourne Cup with most racing enthusiasts salivating at possibly the strongest WFA field in decades tomorrow at Caulfield. Can the nation's latest super mare, Atlantic Jewel, live up to the hype? This is the race to prove it, surely the Cox Plate can't get much tougher than this.

Saddling up to provide the preview for the blog is Melbourne form specialist, media identity and ranter extraordinaire, Racetrack Ralphy. Download his iPhone app for his astute race analysis including all-important speed maps or subscribe via his website, RacetrackRalphy.


Race 9 - Hyland Race Colours Underwood Stakes

Race Time:4:55pm
Race Overview
Basic numbers: 12-11-7-8

ATLANTIC JEWEL is the headline act and the new superstar of Australian racing, but today tells exactly what she's got under the bonnet as a serious Cox Plate chance. Around Caulfield and over 1800 she has to be favourite, but there are two world class middle distance horses in SEA MOON (definitely) and IT'S A DUNDEEL (my opinion) taking her on and as such, the gap in the market is too big for mine. PUISSANCE DE LUNE was flat out plain last start when just beaten. Will he improve? Most probably. Is he under the odds on that run? Definitely.

Suggested bet: I'm going small outlay on two to beat the favourite. 3 win units (lock in $10:00) IT'S A DUNDEEL and 2 win units SEA MOON.

1 - Green Moon - Brett Prebble • Robert Hickmott (10) 59kg
Powered home first up here behind ATLANTIC JEWEL and should be doing similar here. Disappointed the market 2nd up last prep in the Australian Cup, but probably was unable to cope with the high pressure early in the race? This likely more moderate tempo should suit better, and he'll again be hard late

2 - Manighar - Daniel Stackhouse • Peter G Moody (3) 59kg
Was just ok in the Makybe but perhaps that's what he's now become? This race probably decides what he's got left as he should get the gun run, but he hasn't won since April 2012.

3 - Mr Moet - Damien Oliver • Adam Durrant (13) 59kg
Went forward in what turned out to be a better speed than expected in the MAKYBE and unsurprisingly knocked up. Oliver replaces Staeck which is significant, but the outside alley again presents a challenges.

4 - Foreteller - Craig Newitt • Chris Waller (11) 59kg
Proved that he's brought his standard to a new level with a nose win over PUISSANCE DE LUNE last start (as predicted here without having the guts to do so properly...) and the extra 200 is no problem. With the right run, he can again be in the placings, though this is up another level.

5 - Happy Trails - Dwayne Dunn • Paul Beshara (4) 59kg
Was a late scratching last week on suspicions of raceday treatment, and I was risking him on the day in that race off just an average run here behind ATLANTIC JEWEL. I want to see him return to a genuine sign of his best before following him again.

6 - Ethiopia - Rhys McLeod • Pat Carey (1) 59kg
Had a soft run first up and it was ok, but not enough to expect vast improvement here.

7 - Sea Moon - Craig Williams • Robert Hickmott (5) 59kg $12:00
Is seriously scary and can win this. He was nice and strong in the market for his Australian debut, but splayed his legs at the start and the run can be totally forgiven. There is no way he would be risked if the camp wasn't happy with him since, and such is his world class ability, he's worth specking for mine.

8 - Puissance de Lune - Glen Boss • Darren Weir (14) 59kg $21:00
Was ok last start when picked off late by FORETELLER after being exposed at the top of the straight and being stalked by the winner. His Grand Final is still 6 weeks away and while he'll improve again, he does need to in this hot field.

9 - Waldpark - Ben Melham • Anthony Freedman (9) 59kg
Was ok first up for his Australian debut without much market love. He'll improve again but off that being deep in the finish would surprise.

10 - My Quest for Peace Luke Nolen • Peter G Moody (2) 59kg
Was plain first up behind ATLANTIC JEWEL with the biggest mystery being why Moody persists with him. Clearly he is showing something on the track, as the trainer hardly needs to fill a box!

11 - It's a Dundeel - James McDonald • Murray Baker (12) 58kg $7:00
Is a superstar getting out to this distance range and the super strong market support first up indicated that the market isn't afraid of ATLANTIC JEWEL with him, but the inside barrier meant he was unable to unwind into his paralysing sprint. Here from the outside alley that won't be a problem and he'll be powering home late. Too late? Possibly. But at the odds I want to be on him.

12 - Atlantic Jewel - Michael Rodd • Mark Kavanagh (7) 57kg $1:75
Taught us nothing last week with her Moonee Valley trackwork for $134,000. She showed her typically world class turn of foot when asked, but then Rodd understandably shut her down late. The reality of the data is that she didn't break 12 seconds in either win. Is she vulnerable late? Here she'll again put it on show on the home turn, but at 1800, both SEA MOON and IT'S A DUNDEEL start to come into their own. I've got her top pick, but would love to be alive in the quaddie with the other two as well!

13 Silent Achiever - Steven Arnold • Roger James (8) 57kg
Had no room last start so the run wasn't an indication of her - very good - ability. She won the MV Group 2 mile 2nd up last spring but this is another level.

14 - Dear Demi - Brad Rawiller • Clarry Conners (6) 56kg
Powered home from too far back behind COMMANDING JEWEL and most years would be a chance in a race like this. However the depth of the race means she isn't in the market, but everything going right for her and a couple of things wrong for others could see her place without surprise.

You can also follow Ralph on @rtralphy


Popular posts from this blog

It's all gone Pete Tong at Betfair!

The Christmas Hurdle from Leopardstown, a good Grade 2 race during the holiday period. But now it will go into history as the race which brought Betfair down. Over £21m at odds of 29 available on Voler La Vedette in-running - that's a potential liability of over £500m. You might think that's a bit suspicious, something's fishy, especially with the horse starting at a Betfair SP of 2.96. Well, this wasn't a horse being stopped by a jockey either - the bloody horse won! Look at what was matched at 29. Split that in half and multiply by 28 for the actual liability for the layer(s). (Matched amounts always shown as double the backers' stake, never counts the layers' risk). There's no way a Betfair client would have £600m+ in their account. Maybe £20 or even £50m from the massive syndicates who regard(ed) Betfair as safer than any bank, but not £600m. So the error has to be something technical. However, rumour has it, a helpdesk reply (not gospel, natur

What shits me about match-fixing 'journalism'.

The anti-wagering media bandwagon has dozens of new members this week, all weighing in an industry they have absolutely no idea about. I'm all for getting the betting industry into the mainstream but it shits me no end when they roll out reports and celebrities who simply don't have a clue what they are talking about and don't bother to check basic facts which key arguments in their story. If this was the financial industry, making errors like this would have them in all sorts of trouble, but the same level of regulation doesn't apply because finance stock markets are supposedly all legitimate and serious, whereas sports betting is just a bit of fun for people who can never win in the long-term... according to the media. This week we have seen the sting by the Telegraph which, on the face of it, looks to be a tremendous piece of investigative work into fixing in English football. But the headlines around it are over-sensationalised yet again. Delroy Facey, a former pla

Racing has a Ponzi scheme - and the fallout will be enormous

When the term ' Ponzi scheme ' is mentioned these days, the names Bernard Madoff and Allen Stanford instantly spring to mind. The pair of them ran multi-billion dollar frauds (US$60bn and $8bn respectively) that destroyed the lives of thousands of investors who had put their life savings into a 'wonderful' investment strategy. How so many people were sucked into the scheme is baffling to those on the outside. The lifestyle, the sales pitch, the success stories of the early investors - I suppose it all adds up. So where does this link to racing you ask? A prominent Australian 'racing identity' this week has been reported to have lost access to a bank account with punters' club funds of $194m in it. Firstly - is there a worse term for anyone to be labelled with that 'racing identity'? It ALWAYS ends up meaning shonky crook! Secondly - who the hell has a punters' club with an active bankroll in the tens of millions? It simply can't be done. T