The Lloyd Williams-owned veteran stayer Fawkner will shoot for back-to-back Group 1 wins this weekend lining-up as the in-form hope in the Underwood Stakes 2015 field at Caulfield Racecourse.
The eight-year-old son of Reset secured his third elite level title first-up last time out on September 12 at Flemington taking out the Makybe Diva Stakes over the mile before his second-up run this Saturday in the $400,000 Group 1 Hyland Race Colours Underwood Stakes (1800m).
The Underwood Stakes field features a dozen weight-for-age hopefuls, the 12 to face off in Caulfield Race 7 at 4:05pm (AEST) with Robert Hickmott’s Fawkner drawn a treat in barrier two, which produced last year’s winner Foreteller (2014) and So You Think (2010).
Damien Oliver, who won the 2011 edition of the race aboard Northerly, stays aboard Fakwner after taking out the Makybe Diva Stakes aboard the horse who returns to the track he won the 2014 Caulfield Stake sand the 2013 Caulfield Cup over giving him a two from three record at Caulfield.
The other best performed Makybe Diva Stakes graduate set to back up in the Underwood Stakes on Saturday is visiting Kiwi raider Mongolian Khan, the Murray Baker-trained four-year-old looking to improve on his seventh in the mile clash.
Winner of the Group 1 ATC Derby (2400m) in Sydney over the mile and a half during the autumn as a three-year-old, the Holy Roman Emperor stallion will be better suited to the extra metres second-up on Saturday and regular rider Opie Bosson retains the ride on the Caulfield Cup-bound youngster draw one outside of Fawkner in gate three.
Four-year-olds have dominated the Underwood Stakes results in recent years winning five of the past six from 2008 – 2013.
Two of those were not only four-year-olds but also four-year-old New Zealand-trained runners like Mongolian Khan with Baker’s Lion Tamer (2011) and the Gary Hennessy-trained Ocean Park (2012).
The other four-year-old Kiwi in the mix this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival is the Donna Logan-trained Tavistock gelding Volkstok’n’barrell who won the Group 1 Rosehill Gardens (2000m) in March on the back of a second to Mongolian Khan in the Group 1 NZ Derby (2400m) back home.
Volkstok’n’barrell also ran third in the ATC Derby and has had two runs in Melbourne this prep including the disappointing 14th in the Makybe Diva Stakes when failing to beat home any of his rivals.
Along with Fawkner the other last start winner in the field is Mick Burles’ top Tasmanian galloper The Cleaner, the Savoire Vivre eight-year-old looking to go back-to-back for his age group after the success of Chris Waller’s eight-year-old last year.
The Cleaner has had three runs at Caulfield but is yet to win, the latest being a second to Mourniho in the Group 2 PB Lawrence Stakes (1400m) in mid-August that he backed up from with a run at his preferred Moonee Valley track to win the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) on September 5.
Also coming off a top three run in the Dato’ that produced last year’s Underwood Stakes winner is the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained Hong Kong expat Dibayani, the Shamardal six-year-old having run a brave third in that as well as his debut down under in the PB Lawrence.
Saturday he races over 1800m for the first time but with winning form up to 2200m and jockey Damian Lane staying on he could be ready to strike third-up.
The other headline Underwood Stakes hopeful this year is the John O’Shea-trained Contributer in gate eight with Sydney-based hoop James McDonald over for the ride on Godolphin’s dual Group 1 champ who is second-up off a fifth in the Dato’.
See below for the full Underwood Stakes 2015 field, barriers, jockeys and weights then head to the country’s premier bookie Ladbrokes.com.au for all the weekend’s top offers and odds!
2015 Underwood Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Caulfield Race 7 (4:05pm) – 26/09/2015
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||6x7x2120x1||FAWKNER||Robert Hickmott||Damien Oliver||2||59kg||116|
|2||25x6624x00||DANDINO (GB)||Darren Weir||Ben Melham||11||59kg||105|
|3||x6798x21x0||SERTORIUS||Jamie Edwards||Ryan Maloney||10||59kg||105|
|4||939x245x21||THE CLEANER||Mick Burles||Noel Callow||1||59kg||110|
|5||17x1310x16||MOURINHO||Peter Gelagotis||Vlad Duric||4||59kg||109|
|6||1x18x111x5||CONTRIBUTER (IRE)||John O’Shea||James McDonald||8||59kg||113|
|7||130082×249||WEARY (FR)||Chris Waller||Craig Newitt||12||59kg||107|
|8||43352x0x33||DIBAYANI (IRE)||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Damian Lane||9||59kg||105|
|9||01111151×7||MONGOLIAN KHAN||Murray Baker||Opie Bosson||3||58kg||112|
|10||1113213×70||VOLKSTOK’N’BARRELL (NZ)||Donna Logan||Craig Williams||7||58kg||110|
|11||4618411×00||MAGICOOL||Mark Kavanagh||James Winks||5||58kg||101|
|12||14x2111x50||HI WORLD||Peter G Moody||Kerrin McEvoy||6||58kg||102|