Grunt failed to make any noise in the 2018 Underwood Stakes

October 2, 2018

Grunt failed to make any noise in the 2018 Underwood Stakes

Favourite Grunt failed to make any noise when he missed a place behind Homesman in the Group 1 $750,000 Hyland Race Colours Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on Sunday.

Grunt, above, failed to run a place in the 2018 Underwood Stakes at Caulfield. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Grunt, above, failed to run a place in the 2018 Underwood Stakes at Caulfield. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Damien Oliver was forced to take Grunt to the front in the first 200m after he failed find any cover after jumping from the outside gate in the nine horse field.

Grunt dictated the tempo out in from but was under pressure on the home turn and the $3.40 favourite faded in the run home to finish sixth, four and a half length behind the Liam Howley trained, Lloyd Williams owned European import Homesman ($5).

Oliver told trainer Mick Price that Grunt wasn’t comfortable running on the Caulfield track and changed strides on several occasions resulting in four year old suffering his third defeat from three starts on the track.

“He was hopeless. Ollie (Damien Oliver) just got off and said he changed stride four or five times around the corner. He said he’s not comfortable here. He doesn’t like it here so you can’t keep banging your head against the wall,” Price told racing.com.

“The three worst runs of his career have been at Caulfield. I gave him the benefit of the doubt until we got to the 1800 metres but that was not to be.

“We’re going to use that information properly and go to the Turnbull.”

Price now intends to back up Grunt against super star mare Winx on Saturday and have his last lead up run for the 2018 Cox Plate in the Group 1 $500,000 Seppelt Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington.

Grunt has definitely shown in the past that he runs his best races at Flemington with three wins from four starts there, including two at Group 1 level in the $1m Australian Guineas (1600m) during the 2018 Melbourne Autumn Carnival and in the $750,000 PFD Food Services Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) two starts back.

Price will have to call on the services of Mark Zahra to take the reins on Grunt when he tackles Winx in Turnbull Stakes after Oliver had a previous commitment to ride the Chris Waller trained Dealmaker in the Group 1 $500,000 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on Saturday.

Oliver will then most likely be back aboard when Grunt lines up again against Winx in the Group 1 $5m Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley on October 27.

Fourteen horses make up the original nominations for the Turnbull Stakes with three of Winx’s Waller trained stablemates among the entries, Egg Tart, Unforgotten and Youngstar.

Winx will be chasing her twenty-eighth consecutive win and her twenty-first Group 1 win in the Turnbull Stakes which will be her last lead up run to try to make it four Cox Plate victories in a row.

Nominations for the 2018 Turnbull Stakes (2000m)

# Last 10 Horse Sex Age Trainer Hcp Rating
1 4x1331x140 DIVINE UNICORN (GB) G 5 Matthew Dunn 99
2 400521×533 EGG TART M 5 Chris Waller 107
3 x1111x5816 GRUNT (NZ) H 4 Mick Price 113
4 1x68139x43 JON SNOW (NZ) H 5 Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman 110
5 x11111x432 KINGS WILL DREAM (IRE) G 5 Darren Weir 107
6 41x780x006 MIGHTY BOSS H 4 Mick Price 104
7 2x115627x2 ORDEROFTHEGARTER (IRE) H 5 Liam Howley 99
8 2x04331x22 RISING RED (NZ) G 5 Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young 101
9 760x0551x5 TALLY G 6 James Cummings 106
10 116×632117 TRAP FOR FOOLS G 5 Jarrod McLean 104
11 1x0121x613 UNFORGOTTEN M 4 Chris Waller 108
12 x437829x79 VENTURA STORM (IRE) G 6 David & B Hayes & T Dabernig 104
13 111x111x11 WINX M 7 Chris Waller 130
14 x311113x63 YOUNGSTAR M 4 Chris Waller 102

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