Group 1 racing will head to Sandown on Sunday 25th September, with the running of the $1 million Underwood Stakes.
The race will be contested under weight-for-age conditions over 1800m, and has been classified as a G1 event since 1979.
The winning connections will take home $600,000, with this year’s favourite Zaaki taking out the 2021 edition of the race. Other winners include Black Heart Bart, So You Think and Northerly.
The feature race of the day will be run at 4.25pm AEST.
Underwood Stakes 2022 Field, Barriers and Betting Odds
|1. Zaaki (5)||Jamie Kah||Annabel Neasham||$2.50|
|2. I’m Thunderstruck (6)||Mark Zahra||M.Price/M.Kent Jr||$2.90|
|3. Alligator Blood (2)||Tim Clark||G.Waterhouse/A.Bott||$7.50|
|4. Mr Brightside (4)||Craig Williams||B & JD Hayes||$4.40|
|5. Mo’unga (3)||Hugh Bowman||Annabel Neasham||$21|
|6. Noncomformist (1)||Jordan Childs||Gary Begg||$71|
Underwood Stakes 2022 tips
With some rain forecast, Sandown is looking like it will be a soft track come Sunday afternoon – but that shouldn’t worry the main chances in the race, who handle the wet reasonably well. The main query for most of these runners is the distance, with the favourite the only horse to claim success over 1800m during its career.
To the surprise of nobody, last year’s winner Zaaki ($2.50) looks set to start favourite in the small field, just a week after being scratched from the G1 George Main Stakes to run in this event. This distance also suits him, with four wins from five starts to date in his career, and there’s obviously a reason that trainer Annabel Neasham has opted for this race.
The seven-year-old is a proven winner with three G1 wins to his name, and will be fresh after a three-week break following victory in the G2 Tramway Stakes on September 3rd at Randwick. Zaaki has a good record on soft and heavy tracks, with four wins and two placings from nine appearances.
I’m Thunderstruck ($2.90) isn’t far behind in the market and is an elite galloper at this level, boasting two G1 wins including a recent success in the Makybe Diva Stakes. The five-year-old gelding has a 50 per cent strike rate on rain-affected tracks from eight starts.
Elsewhere in the single-figure odds, Mr Brightside ($4.40) has a terrific record on soft tracks with five wins in eight starts, and will be looking to bring the same form that saw him win the G1 Doncaster Mile earlier this year.
Alligator Blood ($7.50) has finished 7th and 2nd in his two starts this preparation, with both defeats coming at G1 level, and should be fit for this race.
At longer odds, Mo’unga ($21) isn’t the worst chance and has previous success at this level, but each-way betting wouldn’t be advised in a small field with only two-place dividends available.
Final Tip: Zaaki ($2.50 with TAB)
How to watch the Underwood Stakes 2022
This year’s Underwood Stakes will be broadcast live on Racing.com and Sky Racing.
Underwood Stakes 2022 tickets
This year’s Underwood Stakes is free entry at Sandown Racecourse.