Sixteen runners have been included in nominations for Saturday’s Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield Racecourse, highlighted by the pending appearance of some of the Spring Carnival’s most exciting stayers.
Rising Romance charged home for a close second in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) a fortnight ago and will relish a step-up to 1800m for the 2015 Underwood Stakes.
Beginning her racing career under the guidance of Kiwi trainer Donna Logan, Rising Romance immediately made an impact upon debuting in Australia during the 2014 Autumn Carnival; running fourth in the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) before taking out the Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m).
Continuing to impress through a spring campaign highlighted by a close second to Admire Rakti in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m), the Ekraar mare ran second in this year’s edition of the Group 1 New Zealand Stakes (2000m) on March 7th.
Having transferred to the care of David Hayes and Tom Dabernig for her Spring Carnival campaign this time, Rising Romance ran sixth in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) first-up and appears primed for a return to the winner’s circle in the 2015 Underwood Stakes.
Fawkner returned this time for success in the Makybe Diva Stakes and will be very hard to beat in the Underwood Stakes.
Winner of the 2013 edition of the Caulfield Cup, Fawkner returned last spring for second in the Makybe Diva Stakes; progressing to success in the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) before running a close second in the Cox Plate.
Having been set on a similar path this time, the Reset gelding will have taken plenty of benefit from his first-up run and is a leading chance for success on Saturday.
Godolphin runner Contributer could only manage fifth in the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) first-up but will relish a return to Caulfield and the conditions of the 2015 Underwood Stakes.
Stamping his claims as one to watch upon debuting to Australian racing last spring, Contributer undoubtedly returned to racing in career-best form to date in autumn this year; winning each of the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m), Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) and Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) in succession.
The Cleaner gained ballot-free entry into the 2015 Cox Plate with a second-consecutive win in the Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes and is perhaps best placed for a maiden Group 1 win in the 2015 Underwood Stakes.
Returning in autumn for second in the Listed George Adams Plate (1600m) in his native Tasmania, The Cleaner ran fourth in the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) but failed to fire when fifth in the Group 3 Easter Cup (2000m).
The 2015 Underwood Stakes final field and barrier draw is due to be completed and released by midday, Wednesday.
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