Underwood Stakes 2017 Tips: Sunday Race Selections

A field of potential Caulfield Cup horses face off on Sunday at Caulfield Racecourse in the 2017 Underwood Stakes, betting tips and the latest odds for which are detailed below.

Hartnell

Short-priced favourite in 2017 Underwood Stakes betting Hartnell looks hard to beat in Sunday’s Group 1 at Caulfield. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos.

With so many Group 1 races run across the Footy Grand Finals weekend, this year’s Group 1 $750,000 Underwood Stakes (1800m) has drawn a field of only nine weight-for-age runners.

What the race lacks in numbers though it certainly makes-up for in class, and the latest Underwood Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au have Hartnell at a short $2.05 to atone for the punters after finishing second as the beaten odds-on favourite last start in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m).

This Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup placegetter gets every chance to return to winning form third-up, which he’s been solid at over past campaigns, especially stretching out over more metres here.

Two of his rivals are battling for second spot in the Underwood Stakes betting markets with the defending Darren Weir-trained champion Black Heart Bart ($4.80) coming off a third in the Makybe Diva and gun Kiwi mare Bonneval ($4.80) the market mover after winning Moonee Valley’s Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) last time out.

So will the top three in betting run the Underwood Stakes trifecta or is there value to be found further down the markets with a longer-priced hope such as He’s Our Rokkii ($26) who scratched out of Saturday’s Epsom Handicap field in favour of this?

1st

#1 Hartnell ($2.05)

He let the punters down last start, but happy to forgive and think third-up Hartnell will be starting to peak at this distance making him pretty hard to beat. The Godolphin galloper is a genuine champ and would have plenty more Group 1 victories had he not come up against the world’s best Winx. He’s a seven-year-old, but the stable know how to get the best out of him and he doesn’t really know how to run a bad race. The step-up to 1800m here will be ideal as he targets either the Caulfield Cup or Cox Plate later in the month. The speed will be lower key than last time out and he’ll be able to use that to outstay plenty of these.

2nd

#8 Bonneval ($4.80)

The money is coming for the ultra-consistent Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman-trained mare and if Hartnell doesn’t fire, she’s the danger. Mares don’t win this race, not since Tristarc (1985) anyway, but she’s going great guns. She is six-from-nine to date and won the NZ Oaks – ATC Derby double as a filly last time in, so will enjoy more metres here after winning the Dato’ over the mile at The Valley. Weight-for-age suits and she’s ready to step-up in grade.

3rd

#7 Abbey Marie ($20)

At a big price for a place, love the value on offer for another mare in the mix Abbey Marie. This lightly-raced five-year-old has had plenty of setbacks, but looked pretty good last weekend in the Naturalism Stakes (2000m) finishing fifth to Harlem. She’s on the quick back-up, but maybe that’s the key – to strike while the iron is hot. Before that she was second past the post just a quarter-length off Bonneval and she’s out to win her first race since the Group 1 Schweppes Oaks (2000m) as a filly in May of 2016. If she is still going well, the 1800m should suit and she can surprise.

Get behind our insider Underwood Stakes 2017 tips online now at the right Caulfield racing odds at Ladbrokes.com.au.

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