Betting markets for tomorrow’s 2013 Underwood Stakes at Caulfield Racecourse have remained steady with Atlantic Jewel dominating at $1.50, but it is another mare at juicy odds now getting the punters’ attention.
Silent Achiever has been the only horse to firm in the 14-horse field for the $400,000 Group 1 Hyland Race Colours Underwood Stakes (1800m) which is set to bring the Melbourne racing action to a close as Race 9 at 4:55pm (AEST) on Saturday.
Only two of the runners are under double figures in betting with Mark Kavanagh’s undefeated champ Atlantic Jewel ($1.50) shooting for consecutive career win number 10, and 2013 Melbourne Cup favourite Puissance De Lune ($8.50) looking to continue their magic spring prep.
Much further down the Underwood Stakes odds punters can find the Roger James-trained New Zealand raider Silent Achiever who is sneaking their way into contention.
After opening at a quote of $51 earlier in the week the O’Reilly five-year-old is the only genuine Underwood Stakes betting market mover having firmed into $41.
This is still a very generous price for a quality mare that’s raced exclusively in Group 1 company at her five most recent runs.
Winner of last year’s New Zealand Derby before travelling to Australia for the first time where her debut was a close third to Laser Hawk in the Rosehill Guineas, Silent Achiever is after her first win since taking out the Group 2 Crystal Mile (1600m) at Moonee Valley over Raingirangdoo last October.
She was also here for the autumn in Sydney and ran four very nice races against the best down under, the highlight of which was her narrow second behind Fiveandahalfstar in The BMW over the mile and a half at Rosehill on Golden Slipper Day.
Silent Achiever resumed at Caulfield on August 31 off a four month break but failed to capture anyone’s attention when she failed to get a clear run and finished six lengths away 11th behind Saturday’s star pick Atlantic Jewel in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m).
“I think she was going to run a big race had she got room when she wanted it,” James told AAP speaking of her luckless Memsie appearance.
“The good thing about her is that this time last year she wasn’t feeding well and I was up against it really.
“This preparation she has been very good and is probably in the best order of her life.”
Word is also that the Kiwi has been working very well at Caulfield in the lead-up to the Underwood and her Cambridge-based trainer James is confident she can surprise and continue the good run for the Kiwis in the classic despite the class of her competitors.
“There’s nowhere to hide,” James said.
“You’ve got to be there and hope that you get the luck that you didn’t get last time.”
The past two editions of the Underwood have both been won by New Zealand-trained gallopers with Ocean Park last year and the ill-fated Lion Tamer in 2011.
Other notable hopes in the Underwood this year include fellow Kiwi It’s A Dundeel ($11) who won the Sydney Autumn 3YO Triple Crown last season, Melbourne Cup-bound import Sea Moon ($13) and the Chris Waller-trained Foreteller ($21) who won the Ranvet Stakes in the autumn – a race Silent Achiever was fifth in.
All going to plan and Silent Achiever will continue on in Melbourne this spring targeting firstly the $2.5 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) next month and then the iconic $6.2 million Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington in November.
“Our main aim is the two Cups,” James said.
“She drops in weight markedly in them but it would be lovely to think we’re competitive in these weight-for-age races on the way to them.”
She currently pays $34 in the Caulfield Cup markets and is a $71 outsider to win the Melbourne Cup.
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