This Saturday the Group 1 action of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival kicks off at Caulfield with the 2012 Underwood Stakes and with so many season headliners in one race below the Races.com.au team have made our insider Underwood Stakes betting tips public knowledge.
Due to jump as Caulfield Race 7 at 3:40pm the $400,000 Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) is shaping up as a supercharged showdown between a number of leading 2012 Cox Plate fancies, the hot favourite of which is Manighar ($2.30).
A triple Group 1 winner for Peter Moody during the autumn the former Luca Cumani-trained stayer is out to improve on their devastatingly close first-up second to Southern Speed in the Makybe Diva Stakes and with the extra distance here is the one to beat.
Their main dangers are then Stephen Farley’s Memsie Stakes winner Sincero ($5.50), Makybe Diva winner Southern Speed ($7), last-start Group 1 Challenge Stakes winning Kiwi Ocean Park ($8) and the Mark Kavanagh-trained come-back stayer December Draw ($9.50).
That’s the Underwood Stakes betting story, but will this year’s winner come from this top five? Or does a longer-priced outsider such as Doomben Cup champ Mawingo ($13) or even 2010 Melbourne Cup runner-up Maluckyday ($26) have an upset in them?
Earlier this week our form experts did an exclusive 2012 Underwood Stakes Form Guide & Betting Preview and based on the facts and stats revealed in that, below are the Races.com.au tips for Caulfield Race 7 on Saturday.
#13 Ocean Park ($8)
- This flying four-year-old from NZ makes their Melbourne debut on Saturday but look out, the form and class is right for an upset
- They were second in the Rosehill Guineas during the autumn before maturing over a five month break
- First-up on September 1 they got the better of many of New Zealand’s best weight-for-age horses winning a tough edition of the Group 1 Makfi Challenge Stakes (1400m)
- That race produced last year’s Underwood Stakes winner Lion Tamer (4th)
- Displayed a devastating turn of foot and late burst in the Makfi and over 1800m should be even more impressive
- Boasts the third highest win rate of the field (50%) and the best place percentage (87.5%)
#1 Manighar ($2.30)
- Manighar should win this but think Ocean Park could get a better run from their draw (5) with the hot favourite in 12
- Can’t take them at this price but will be close
- Won first-up in the autumn before running one of their worst races to finish third behind Lucas Cranach and Illo in the Peter Young Stakes second-up going from a mile to 1800m same as here
- Only lost to Southern Speed by a nose having failed to get a clear run in the Makybe, will be the one to beat if they get a good run here
- Moody is confident they have come on and improved so the trainer is behind them 100 percent
- Great place percentage (70%) so looks better for a place than win based on that stat
- Favourite is due to win the race with the recent trend being roughie-favourite-roughie-favourite (Lion Tamer was $16 last year)
- Comes through the right race with 13 of the past 24 Underwood Stakes winners coming through the Makybe
- No eight-year-old in history has ever won the Underwood however
- Is one of only five horses to have won at the track before (4-1-0-1)
#3 Sincero ($5.50)
- If they won wouldn’t be surprised and will be included in all of our exotics
- Their first-up win in the Memsie Stakes was an impressive two length effort over Happy Trails who went on to win the Dato last Saturday
- The past three Memsie Stakes winners to back up in the Underwood have all won the Group 1 feature, the most recent of which was So You Think (2010)
- Boasts the second best Win Rate of the field with 52.17%
- Has won at Caulfield before (2-1-0-0)
Roughie We Like
#Voila Ici ($41)
- Very long odds for Moody’s import who debuted down under with a credible sixth in the Memsie behind Sincero
- Should be better with the experience up their sleeve now
- Has a brilliant second-up record (9-4-2-2)
- Looking for more distance but won their last start over 1800m back in 2007 at just their second career run
- Also has the second best Place Rate behind Ocean Park with 79.31%
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