As the top bookmaker’s best freebet offers start making their odds for international and local horse racing, punters start revving up for the big horse racing events scheduled for October and November, however there's still plenty of work to be done in September.
The connections of the Australia's top thoroughbred race horses are busy plotting a path to the Caulfield Cup, WS Cox Plate and/or Melbourne Cup.
Along the way are several Group 1 events that have strong histories of its own.
Before testing the grueling conditions of the nation's top three races, which were mentioned above, a strategic prep race or two seems to be the order of the day. There are several lucrative paths that can be drawn up, depending on a connection's end goal. Let's take a look at what has been a very meaningful prep over the past couple of decades.
About the Underwood Stakes
With the lowest possible purse to qualify as a Group 1 event, Bookie offerson the Underwood Stakes won’t hold much prestige. However, this race has been used as a meaningful prep by the likes of Australian equine superstars like It's A Dundeel (2014), So You Think (2010) and Northerly (2001-02). All three of these horses went on to claim several classics.
The Underwood Stakes is scheduled to be run on September 24, 2016 at the Caulfield Racecourse in Melbourne, Australia. The race will be run at 1800m on turf for horses that are 3-years old and up for a purse of AUS$400,000. Weights will be assigned based on Weight-for-age allowance conditions. This race will serve as the co-feature alongside the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes for middle distance sprinters.
Betting the Underwood Stakes
Historically, the Underwood Stakes has been a great betting race for punters who are always on the troll for value. It's not surprising that an early season middle-distance prep race has sprung a few big-priced winners over the past decade or two. While the nominations have not yet been released, news reports indicate a decent field in being anticipated. Here's a look at a few tentative contenders.
Lucia Valentia - While the 6-year old mare proved to be no match for Australian racing superstar Winx in last week's Warwick Stakes (Group 2), it was still a solid 4th that sets her up for her next step on the way to the WS Cox Plate in October. This is a mare that has won over AUS$4,000,000 while capturing major events like the Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (G1) at Randwick.
Tarzino - Assuming he makes a successful return to the races this weekend in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes, local racing fans can expect this dual Group 1 classic winner (Sky Racing Rosehill Guineas (G1), Aami Victoria Derby (G1)) to make this race the last step on his way to an appointment in the AUS$3 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup or AUS$3 million Group 1 W.S. Cox Plate in mid-October. In the trials leading up to the Memsie, Tarzino has looked outstanding.
Tally - After winning last season's William Hill Alister Clark (G2) and following that up with a strong performance behind Tavago in the Bmw Australian Derby (G1), this 4-year old Godolphin home-bred looks to have a bright future. Scheduled to run against the aforementioned Tarzino in the Memsie Stakes this weekend, punter will have a better idea about this one's class. He's a winner of 5 of 10 races and over AUS$500,000 in purses.
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