The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
The Underwood Stakes is held in Melbourne in late September or early October as a key lead-up to the Cox Plate and Caulfield Cup.
2023 Underwood Stakes Results
- 1st: #2 Alligator Blood
- 2nd: #5 Tuvalu
- 3rd: #15 Duais
Underwood Stakes News
- Alligator Blood Leads 2023 Underwood Stakes Field & Odds
- Zaaki Heads Underwood Stakes 2022 Field & Betting Odds
- Zaaki Scratched From 2022 George Main Stakes: Betting Update
- Underwood Stakes 2021 Winner Zaaki Enjoys Soft Win in Cox Plate Lead-Up
- 2021 Underwood Stakes Day: Sandown Scratchings & Track Report
The Underwood Stakes is a Group 1 race run during the renowned Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival in late September.
Recently held on the Sunday after Sydney’s Golden Rose Stakes, in 2023 the Underwood Stakes takes place on the Saturday at Caulfield Racecourse.
The feature event of Underwood Stakes Day, this 1800m race is run under weight-for-age conditions and is currently worth $750,000 in stakes.
The Underwood was moved in 2021 to Ladbrokes Park Hillside (Sandown) bringing Group 1 racing to the Sandown track for the first time in 25 years.
Underwood Stakes Day returned to Caulfield Racecourse for the 2023 edition.
Key lead-up races to this event that Underwood Stakes runners may come via include the John F. Feehan Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley, the Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington a fortnight before and the Memsie Stakes (1400m) in August.
So You Think (2010) was the last horse to complete the Memsie Stakes – Underwood Stakes double without a run in between. In 2017 the Kiwi-trained mare Bonneval completed the Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (now the John F Feehan) – Underwood Stakes double. All of these quality weight-for-age Group races may be used as preparation for the Underwood and then the more lucrative and prestigious races held later in the carnival.
The Underwood Stakes is the first weight-for-age race run over a distance greater than 1400m and provides horses with an excellent opportunity to step up their race distance in preparation for the 2000m and 2400m events to follow. This race is definitely worth keeping an eye on as it has been a solid guide to the Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate in recent years.
In 2020 the Underwood Stakes winner Russian Camelot went on to run third in that year’s Cox Plate trifecta.
The 2021 Underwood Stakes form was franked with the winner Zaaki atoning for his Cox Plate scratching with a Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes victory that spring and success in the 2022 $5 million The All-Star Mile the following autumn.
Zaaki returned for a title defence in 2022 but only managed to run third behind all-the-way winner Alligator Blood, but he did go on to salute in the Mackinnon Stakes (run as the VRC Champions Stakes) again that November.
Alligator Blood went on to frank the 2022 Underwood Stakes form with a win in Flemington’s Group 1 Champions Mile that Melbourne Cup Carnival as well as the 2023 Futurity Stakes the next autumn.
Alligator Blood returned to go back-to-back in the 2023 Underwood Stakes becoming the race’s 13th multiple winner and the first to do so on successive years since Northerly (2001-02).
The 2023 Underwood Stakes form was franked with Alligator Blood going on to win the Group 1 Might And Power (2000m) next start.
The form also held with the sixth place-getter in the Underwood Stakes results, the Anthony & Sam Freedman-trained Without A Fight, winning the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) next start.
This season the Underwood Stakes 2023 took place on Saturday September 23rd, 2023 at Caulfield Racecourse and saw the reigning champion Alligator Blood ($3.60F) salute for the punters with a late surging victory on the short seven-day turnaround.
|Date:||Saturday September 23rd, 2023|
2023 Underwood Stakes Results
- 1st: #2 Alligator Blood ($3.60F)
- 2nd: #5 Tuvalu
- 3rd: #15 Duais
The Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained Alligator Blood ($3.60F) was huge on the short turnaround improving on a second to Mr Brightside in the Makybe Diva Stakes to come wide and late off a lovely Damien Oliver ride to salute for the punters and go back-to-back in the 2023 Underwood Stakes results.
2023 Underwood Stakes Results & Finishing Order
|1||2||ALLIGATOR BLOOD||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Damien Oliver||8||59kg||$3.60F|
|2||5||TUVALU||Lindsey Smith||Ms Jamie Kah||1L||12||59kg||$7|
|3||15||DUAIS||Edward Cummings||Craig Williams||1.2L||7||57kg||$26|
|4||10||SOULCOMBE (GB)||Chris Waller||Blake Shinn||1.4L||5||59kg||$7.50|
|5||9||RIGHT YOU ARE||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Ben Allen||2.15L||2||59kg||$12|
|6||8||WITHOUT A FIGHT (IRE)||Anthony & Sam Freedman||Mark Zahra||2.25L||10||59kg||$4.60|
|7||4||NONCONFORMIST||Grahame Begg||Harry Coffey||2.45L||6||59kg||$41|
|8||13||LINDERMANN||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||2.95L||3||58kg||$12|
|9||12||BANK MAUR||Richard Laming||Jye McNeil||4.45L||1||58kg||$51|
|10||1||VOW AND DECLARE||Danny O’Brien||Billy Egan||4.55L||4||59kg||$201|
|11||7||ALENQUER (FR)||Michael Moroney||Declan Bates||4.65L||9||59kg||$151|
|12||3||MO’UNGA (NZ)||Annabel Neasham||Jamie Mott||7.4L||15||59kg||$41|
|13||14||ATTRITION||Mitchell Freedman||Ben Melham||7.7L||14||58kg||$9|
|14||6||SMOKIN’ ROMANS (NZ)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||John Allen||8.45L||13||59kg||$71|
|15||16||LUNAR FLARE||Grahame Begg||Michael Dee||10.2L||11||57kg||$151|
|17e||ALASKAN GOD||Daniel Morton||0|
|11||DUKE DE SESSA (IRE)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Ethan Brown||0|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
2023 Underwood Stakes Betting
Horses that ran well in lead-up races like Moonee Valley’s Feehan Stakes and the Memsie Stakes dominate the Underwood Stakes betting markets each spring.
Favourites at the top of the Underwood Stakes odds on race day however have a poor recent record with the only ones to salute for the punters since So You Think (2010) being Black Heart Bart (2016), Russian Camelot ($1.55 in 2020), Zaaki ($1.18 in 2021), and most recently Alligator Blood ($3.60) for his second in 2023.
Black Heart Bart meanwhile incredibly won the race again three years later as a $101 roughie in 2019.
The season’s top Underwood Stakes 2023 odds and betting market links to Ladbrokes.com.au will be provided below as soon as released.
CLICK HERE FOR THE LATEST 2023 UNDERWOOD STAKES ODDS (Final Field)
2023 Underwood Stakes Form
2023 Underwood Stakes Tips
Stay tuned for our insider Underwood Stakes 2023 Tips on the popular spring showdown this season.
- To Win: #5 Tuvalu ($7 at time of publish) – BET NOW
Taking on the Gator with Tuvalu at nice value here in the Underwood Stakes fit third-up and ready to fire. Lindsey Smith’s Kermadec gelding was runner-up to Alligator Blood in the Group 1 Champions Mile (1600m) a half-length beaten at headquarters last Melbourne Cup Carnival and can turn the tables here. Fresh he was two lengths fourth behind the form horse of the season so far, Mr Brightside, in the Group 2 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) before a third to Pinstriped in the Group 2 Feehan Stakes (1600m) at The Valley. He will relish the 1800m now with previous winning form at the distance and his runs spaced well. Wide draw but time to overcome and looks overs.
2023 Underwood Stakes Field
Each season the Underwood Stakes field attracts a gun line-up of potential Cox Plate and Caulfield Cup horses coming off lead-up runs in races including the Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (now known as the Feehan Stakes) or Flemington’s Makybe Diva Stakes. In 2016 Black Heart Bart improved on a lead-up second in the Makybe Diva Stakes over the mile to win the Underwood Stakes, while Bonneval (2017) completed the Dato’ Tan Chin Nam – Underwood Stakes double.
In 2023 the defending Underwood Stakes winner Alligator Blood won again on a quick back-up off a Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes second over the Flemington mile the weekend prior.
The official 2023 Underwood Stakes field of final acceptances will be released on the Wednesday leading up to Underwood Stakes Day and listed in full below along with the Underwood Stakes barrier draw.
The Underwood Stakes 2023 final field features a capacity line-up of potential Cox Plate-bound gallopers led in betting by the Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained Alligator Blood coming off a second to Mr Brightside in the Group 1 Makybe Diva last weekend.
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Probable Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||601x22460x||VOW AND DECLARE||Danny O’Brien||Billy Egan||4||59kg||106|
|2||551x140x42||ALLIGATOR BLOOD||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Damien Oliver||8||59kg||116|
|3||52x5332x00||MO’UNGA (NZ)||Annabel Neasham||Jamie Mott||17||59kg||111|
|4||70x18402x0||NONCONFORMIST||Grahame Begg||Harry Coffey||6||59kg||106|
|5||x312x79x43||TUVALU||Lindsey Smith||Ms Jamie Kah||13||59kg||111|
|6||1177x884x6||SMOKIN’ ROMANS (NZ)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||John Allen||14||59kg||108|
|7||616x69x00x||ALENQUER (FR)||Michael Moroney||Declan Bates||10||59kg||113|
|8||311x20x11x||WITHOUT A FIGHT (IRE)||Anthony & Sam Freedman||Mark Zahra||11||59kg||111|
|9||51111121×2||RIGHT YOU ARE||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Ben Allen||2||59kg||106|
|10||41x1x682x1||SOULCOMBE (GB)||Chris Waller||Blake Shinn||5||59kg||106|
|11||52x131x8x0||DUKE DE SESSA (IRE)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Ethan Brown||16||59kg||105|
|12||18x27410x8||BANK MAUR||Richard Laming||Jye McNeil||1||58kg||99|
|13||2x51210x04||LINDERMANN||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||3||58kg||106|
|14||33x1152x52||ATTRITION||Mitchell Freedman||Ben Melham||15||58kg||103|
|15||6880x43x79||DUAIS||Edward Cummings||Craig Williams||7||57kg||112|
|16||612x7931x8||LUNAR FLARE||Grahame Begg||Michael Dee||12||57kg||107|
|17e||x60847x725||ALASKAN GOD||Daniel Morton||9||59kg||92|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
2023 Underwood Stakes Nominations
The 2023 Underwood Stakes nominations are released by Racing Victoria on the Monday of race week and will be published in full below once announced.
The Underwood Stakes 2023 nominations have attracted a bumper 26 potential Cox Plate hopefuls including last year’s Melbourne Cup champion Gold Trip, the resuming Anthony & Sam Freedmam-trained The Q22 winner Without A Fight, and last weekend’s Makybe Diva Stakes runner-up Alligator Blood on the potential quick back-up.
|Last 10||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Ballot||Weight||True Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||291x2570x4||GOLD TRIP (FR)||H||7||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||1||59kg||117|
|2||551x140x42||ALLIGATOR BLOOD||G||7||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||2||59kg||116|
|3||616x69x00x||ALENQUER (FR)||G||6||Michael Moroney||3||59kg||113|
|5||52x5332x00||MO’UNGA (NZ)||H||6||Annabel Neasham||5||59kg||111|
|7||311x20x11x||WITHOUT A FIGHT (IRE)||G||7||Anthony & Sam Freedman||7||59kg||111|
|8||3x3x907x00||EL BODEGON (IRE)||G||5||Chris Waller||8||59kg||110|
|9||1177x884x6||SMOKIN’ ROMANS (NZ)||G||7||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||9||59kg||108|
|11||612x7931x8||LUNAR FLARE||M||8||Grahame Begg||11||57kg||107|
|13||2111263×64||POUNDING||G||5||Peter G Moody & Katherine Coleman||13||59kg||106|
|14||41x1x682x1||SOULCOMBE (GB)||G||5||Chris Waller||14||59kg||106|
|16||51111121×2||RIGHT YOU ARE||G||7||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||16||59kg||106|
|17||601x22460x||VOW AND DECLARE||G||8||Danny O’Brien||17||59kg||106|
|18||52x131x8x0||DUKE DE SESSA (IRE)||H||5||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||18||59kg||105|
|20||7x31x111x9||GOLDMAN (NZ)||G||5||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||20||59kg||103|
|21||132x8802x0||VIRTUOUS CIRCLE (NZ)||H||4||Liam Howley||21||58kg||100|
|22||18x27410x8||BANK MAUR||H||4||Richard Laming||22||58kg||99|
|23||2415931×17||DENY KNOWLEDGE (IRE)||M||6||Michael Kent||23||57kg||97|
|24||15x4430x76||FORGOT YOU (NZ)||H||5||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||24||59kg||96|
|25||x60847x725||ALASKAN GOD||G||5||Daniel Morton||25||59kg||92|
|26||2311320×56||SHE’S FIT||M||4||Daniel Morton||26||56kg||86|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
Underwood Stakes History
Whittier was the inaugural Underwood Stakes winner in 1924 and followed up this success claiming victory the next year as well. The event began as a principal race run over eight furlongs.
For one year in 1943 the distance was decreased to seven furlongs, but went back to the original length the next year. That year, in 1944, there was two runnings of the race, with both Amana and Tea Cake seeing victory. In 1949 the length was increased to nine furlongs and then a few years later in 1954 another distance jump saw the event raced over 10 furlongs. With Australia’s adoption of the metric system, the race was converted to 2000m in 1972 and not long after in 1979 the event was elevated to Group 1 status. In 1994, the distance was cut to 1800m and has remained the same through until today.
The Underwood Stakes has had a number of elite horses claim victory including Phar Lap (1931), Rain Lover (1969), Bonecrusher (1986), Octagonal (1996), Tie The Knot (1998), Northerly (2001 & 2002), Weekend Hussler (2008), So You Think (2010), Russian Camelot (2020), and one of the race’s shortest-ever favourites Zaaki (2021).
Underwood Stakes results play a major role in form understanding for punters who follow the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
In 2023 the Underwood Stakes returned to Caulfield Racecourse with prize money reduced from $1 million to $750,000.
Alligator Blood (2022, 2023) is the latest two-time Underwood Stakes winner saluting for the first time at Sandown and then defending his title at Caulfield the following year.
Underwood Stakes results and winning times since 2000 are provided below.
Underwood Stakes Results
|1st||Alligator Blood||1 minute 48.53 seconds|
|1st||Alligator Blood||1 minute 48.98 seconds|
|1st||Zaaki||1 minute 49.20 seconds|
|1st||Russian Camelot||1 minute 50.85 seconds|
|1st||Black Heart Bart||1 minute 49.27 seconds|
|1st||Homesman||1 minute 48.70 seconds|
|1st||Bonneval||1 minute 48.41 seconds|
|1st||Black Heart Bart||1 minute 50.64 seconds|
|2nd||He Or She|
|1st||Mourinho||1 minute 48.83 seconds|
|1st||Foreteller||1 minute 50.25 seconds|
|1st||It’s A Dundeel||1 minute 54.70 seconds|
|1st||Ocean Park||1 minute 51.40 seconds|
|1st||Lion Tamer||1 minute 50.03 seconds|
|1st||So You Think||1 minute 49.54 seconds|
|1st||Heart Of Dreams||1 minute 49.5 seconds|
|1st||Weekend Hussler||1 minute 49.8 seconds|
|1st||Rubiscent||1 minute 49 seconds|
|1st||El Segundo||1 minute 49.5 seconds|
|1st||Perlin||1 minute 52.7 seconds|
|2nd||Our Smoking Joe|
|3rd||She’s Justa Tad|
|1st||Elvstroem||1 minute 50 seconds|
|1st||Mummify||1 minute 49.5 seconds|
|3rd||Aint Seen Nothing|
|1st||Northerly||1 minute 48.9 seconds|
|1st||Northerly||1 minute 50.2 seconds|
|1st||Oliver Twist||1 minute 47.6 seconds|