Underwood Stakes Preview

  By guest reviewer Todd Burmester It seems year on year that trying to select the winner of the earlier weight for age races in The Spring is either a dead easy task, or an incredibly difficult one, there’s no happy medium. Often there has been a short priced favourite, which is the horse who can sit and sprint, and get the money (e.g. Typhoon Tracy). In the case of The Underwood Stakes on Caulfield on Saturday, I think it fits more into the later category being a very difficult race to assess. At the top of the market you have Lights Of Heaven. Some said she was unlucky first up, I personally didn’t subscribe to that theory and risked her second up. I was right in taking her on that day, but alas, did not come up with the winner, Littorio. I think it’s fair to risk Lights Of Heaven again as she is yet to win in this sort of company. Should she win, it proves yet again why Peter Moody is such a dominant leading trainer. Glass Harmonium and Heart Of Dreams both have form on the board. Glass Harmonium had a very good Winter in Brisbane and all but won last start, and Heart Of Dreams who won the race in 2009, will also be a leading chance. In the case of Heart Of Dreams,1800m is about his ideal distance in my opinion. It’s a distance that has yielded two wins for him, and both were at this track. It’s fair to say he is the more proven of the two. The Underwood is clearly a good horses race. Looking through the honour roll of recent times will bring up names such as, So You Think, Weekend Hussler, Northerly, Tie The Knot and Octagonal, just to mention a few. The race does have quite a few question mark horses, who might be very good horses, but now need to step up and show it. I speak of Maluckyday, Lion Tamer, Playing God, Shamrocker, Scarlett Lady and Precedence who had a good Spring last year and Cummings seems confident he can improve further this year. Most of those do look suited a little later in their campaign, which is what makes the race difficult in my opinion. It’s a lot to do with what fitness levels each horse is it. In summary, I will stick with what I see as “the safe way” being Heart Of Dreams. He’s got Damien Oliver on board, but he may need him, as gate 14 is the potential big draw back. Glass Harmonium, is also dawn wide, but is likely to still camp on the speed is hardest to beat in my opinon. Happy Punting