This Saturday Ascot-based horseman Chris Gangemi will throw his progressive galloper The Underworld into the deep end when they step up to Group company for the first time in Belmont Park’s Hyperion Stakes 2013.
The five-year-old High Chaparral gelding has run in just one black type feature in their 20 start career to date, which has been plagued by knee and other joint issues, when winning the Listed Belmont Guineas (1600m) as a three-year-old back in June of 2011.
Since then they have had a hit and miss career on the tracks but the Belmont mile has proved their pet course and distance, and they see it again this weekend for the $125,000 Group 3 Hyperion Stakes (1600m).
The Underworld is one of 16 horses in the mix for the Western Australian winter showdown and they are set to jump from gate 10 with Campbell McCallum in the saddle.
McCallum was aboard them two back when The Underworld enjoyed a one and three quarter length victory from gate 13 of 13 in a Benchmark 72 over the Belmont Park mile which was their first victory in 16 months – connections now hoping the duo can be competitive at a higher level in the Hyperion.
The horse was last seen running a close fourth when beaten only half a length by Operational over the 2100m at the same track on May 25, having come from last like they did for their latest victory, Gangemi confident getting back down in distance should see them right in it at the end this time.
Gangemi credits The Underworld’s recent good form to a move to Ascot from their original Henley Brook stables and is relying on that and not ratings.
“It’s too late in his career to be worrying about ratings points,” Gangemi said.
“We always thought he would be up to the top class, but his knee and joint problems held him back.
“They haven’t been good since day one.
“This prep the difference has been training him from our Ascot stable which only opened a few months ago.
“He’s usually a highly-strung, stressful horse, but he’s happy there.”
Still they are going to have to be at their best as their 78 rating looks lowly compared to their classy rivals including dual Group 1 winner Playing God, last start Belmont Sprint winner Kerrific and the Grant Williams-trained Ranger.
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