Peter Moody’s one-time Caulfield Cup favourite Lights Of Heaven has opened at the top of the odds to take out this Saturday’s Underwood Stakes 2011 at Caulfield, punters set to put their faith back into the mare that has been the beaten favourite in her opening two starts of the season.
Zabeel four-year-old Lights Of Heaven burst onto the racing scene at the start of the year winning her opening four career starts including the Group 1 Schweppes Oaks (2008m) at Morphettville on March 26.
With Black Caviar in the headlines and another unbeaten mare in the ranks, the betting markets went crazy on Lights Of Heaven when she resumed in the Group 2 PB Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 13.
In a brave performance, Lights Of Heaven came within a quarter length of the weight-for-age hero Whobegotyou in the feature, but she was undefeated no more.
Last start Lights Of Heaven was far less impressive, getting a good clear run in the Group 2 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) but failing to come within two lengths of the winner Littorio when fifth.
She had few excuses, but it seems she did enough not to lose too many admirers as she is now the $4 top elect in the Luxbet markets for her third-up run in the $350,000 Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) this weekend.
“I think her defeat came about because she was a little underdone but the Zabeels go so much better with blinkers fitted so we might try them to get every bit out of her because it’s going to be some sort of race,” Moody said.
Lights Of Heaven’s price in the Makybe was far too short and $4 is much fairer.
Drawn in barrier three of 15 and due to be ridden by Ben Melham with regular rider Luke Nolen on suspension, the Underwood Stakes is Lights Of Heaven’s chance to get back in favour with the punting public and back into the single figures to win the $2.5 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 15.
Originally highly fancied in the Caulfield Cup 2011 odds at Luxbet, Lights Of Heaven has since drifted out to $15 in markets lead by the Mark Kavanagh-trained December Draw ($7.50).
While December Draw will try to pass the Caulfield Cup ballot with a win in the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) at Saturday’s meeting, a number of the other top elects in the Caulfield Cup betting will take on Lights Of Heaven in the Underwood.
Following Lights Of Heaven in the Underwood Stakes 2011 odds is Glass Harmonium, Michael Moroney’s ultra consistent import at a quote of $5.
Drawn in barrier 12, Glass Harmonium is third favourite for the Caulfield Cup ($13 Luxbet) having finished in the top three in all five of their Australian starts so far.
After a successful Brisbane Winter Carnival campaign that included a win in the Group 2 Eagle Farm Cup (2200m), Verglas stallion Glass Harmonium returned with an eye-catching second in the Makybe Diva Stakes and will improve again on Saturday going up to the 1800 metres.
There are three other horses in the Underwood Stakes betting at single-figure odds:
- Heart Of Dreams ($6 Luxbet): is wide in gate 14, but has claims having come within a nose of King’s Rose when second first-up in the Group 2 Memsie Stakes (1400m) on August 27.The Underwood looks the ideal race for the 2011 Cox Plate-bound six-year-old, Mick Price’s Show A Heart gelding having won the Group 2 St George Stakes at the same track and distance back in February.
- Scarlett Lady ($6 Luxbet): Caulfield Cup second-favourite at a futures quote of $9.50 through Luxbet, Scarlett Lady travels over from New Zealand to run in Melbourne for the first time on Saturday. She was impressive down under in the winter with wins in the Doomben Roses and Queensland Oaks, but will have to step up to take on an open field of Group 1 stars here.
- Playing God ($9 Luxbet): Neville Parnham’s talented Blackfriars four-year-old from Perth is never far from the money and always puts in a brave run. A Group 1 winner back home in WA, they have placed at the highest level in Victoria when third in the Australian Guineas and Australian Cup last season. Comes off a fourth in the Makybe Diva and looked just off peak form so up to 1800 metres, which they won the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic over last December, could cause an upset but must overcome the far outside gate.
Other big names in the Underwood Stakes 2011 at longer odds include 2011 Melbourne Cup favourite Shamrocker ($13), last year’s Victoria Derby winner Lion Tamer ($15), 2010 Melbourne Cup runner-up Maluckyday ($16), the Robert Hickmott-trained Midas Touch ($16) and the Bart Cummings-trained Precedence ($19).
The triple-figure outsiders include 2007 Melbourne Cup winner Efficient at $101 to win their first-up race in nearly two years and Master O’Reilly paying $301 who hasn’t won a race since their 2007 Caulfield Cup success.
Get your Underwood Stakes selections at the best prices before race day by betting online now through Luxbet.
2011 Underwood Stakes Betting Odds
*Odds are Fixed Win from Luxbet and subject to change
|2||MASTER O’REILLY (1)||301.00|
|3||HEART OF DREAMS (14)||6.00|
|5||MIDAS TOUCH (2)||17.00|
|7||GLASS HARMONIUM (12)||5.00|
|8||LION TAMER (6)||15.00|
|9||PLAYING GOD (15)||9.00|
|10||RIGHT OF REFUSAL (11)||151.00|
|12||BRAZILIAN PULSE (8)||41.00|
|13||SCARLETT LADY (7)||6.00|
|14||LIGHTS OF HEAVEN (3)||4.00|
|15||SOUTHERN SPEED (13)||41.00|