The Underwood Stakes 2023

The Underwood Stakes occupies a prominent position within the Melbourne Spring Carnival, forming a crucial part of an exhilarating roster of races. Annually held in October at Sandown Racecourse, this event has morphed into an indispensable gathering for racing aficionados, bettors, and insiders from the industry. The appeal of the Underwood Stakes stems not only from its Group 1 standing but also from its knack for drawing the finest of mature horse talent from across Australia. In this comprehensive preview, we plunge into the excitement of the Underwood Stakes, and cast an eye over the following:

The Race: 2023 Underwood Stakes

The Underwood Stakes is run under weight-for-age conditions and boasts a generous total prize fund of $750,000. We delve into the specifics of this prize fund breakdown.

Where to Place Your Bets

When the time comes to bet on the Underwood Stakes, a multitude of Australian bookmakers will be readily available. These betting establishments offer markets for thoroughbred horse racing, letting you participate in the race's exhilaration by laying your wagers. We've also compiled a list of five Australian bookmakers that we particularly admire, which might just be the ideal choice for your 2023 Underwood Stakes betting endeavours.

How to Bet:  The Underwood Stakes and Beyond

Wagering on the Underwood Stakes and other Group 1 Australian thoroughbred horse races provides a platform to flaunt your racing acumen. From simple fixed win or place market choices to more intricate exotic wagers, the betting scope is broad. Whether your preference lies with multis, exotics, or focusing on specific jockeys or popular bets of the day, our in-depth guide will arm you with the necessary information to make knowledgeable betting choices. Keep an eye out for our dedicated "Betting 101" segment, which will offer valuable insights into the diverse types of bets applicable in the Underwood Stakes and other Australian races.

The Venue

Nestled in the suburb of Springvale, Melbourne, the Sandown Racecourse holds a distinguished position in Australia's racing landscape. Opened in 1965, it was the first new metropolitan track of the 20th century and boasts a cutting-edge design. The course features two distinct tracks, Hillside and Lakeside, catering to different racing experiences. Its strategic location and spacious layout make it a popular venue for prestigious racing events, including the 2023 Underwood Stakes. The fusion of traditional charm with modern facilities at Sandown Racecourse promises a memorable day of racing for spectators and punters alike.

The History of the Race

The Underwood Stakes, a Group 1 race held at Sandown Racecourse in Melbourne, boasts a rich history. Inaugurated in 1924, it is named after former chairman of the Williamstown Racing Club, H.A. Underwood. Initially run at Williamstown, the race relocated to Caulfield in 1948 and has recently found its home at Sandown. The Underwood Stakes is a weight-for-age race, held over a distance of 1800 metres. Many esteemed horses have graced this race, with winners often going on to compete in other prestigious events such as the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups, cementing the Underwood Stakes' reputation in Australian thoroughbred racing.

Past Champions of the Underwood Stakes

The Underwood Stakes has consistently paved the way for future champions, providing a window into the uncharted potential and prospects of budding equine talents. Over the years, it has spotlighted some remarkable racehorses who have subsequently carved their names into the annals of racing history. We present a catalogue of Underwood Stakes victors, many of whom echo with greatness.

The Feature Race – 2023 Underwood Stakes

The Feature Race – 2023 Underwood Stakes

Date: Sunday 1 October 2023
Time: TBD
Prize Money: $750,000

Scheduled to take place on October 1, 2023, at Sandown Racecourse, the Underwood Stakes serves as a prime race for stayers looking to build their assault on some of the bigger distance races laterin the Melbourne Spring Carnival.

With a significant $750,000 prize pool on offer for contenders it is a significant race to win in its own right although it is fair to say that for many it is a stepping stone towards greater riches on offer deeper into the carnival.

1st place walks away with $450,000 split between owners, trainer and jockey, which is obviously quite a pull for connections.  Furthermore, prize money is paid out all the way down to 8th place as follows:

PlacingPrize Money
6th, 7th, and 8th$15,000

Since the field for the 2023 Underwood Stakes has not yet been announced, and there are currently no available future odds from leading Australian thoroughbred horse racing bookmakers, this preview will not provide tips or in-depth analysis on the runners competing at Sandown on October 1, 2023. Instead, let's take a moment to reflect on the 2023 Underwood Stakes results, particularly the top 5 finishers, and a short review of their performance. To explore a comprehensive list of every champion in the race's history spanning several decades, please refer to the "Past Winners of the Underwood Stakes" section at the end of this preview.

  1. Alligator Blood: I think to most this win was a surprise. He got control in front then 600m out, they came around and poured the pressure on. 

  2. Mo’Unga: Flat footed when they sprinted and looked like he would run down the track, but the last furlong, he picked up and surged hard late nearer the inside of the pack to run second. 

  3. Zaaki: It's now been all bar one run now in Melbourne where he has wanted to lay in under pressure, badly. The only time he’s run straight was the Emirates last year when J Mac found the lead and fence. That might be the key. Finding the fence. He looked as if he’d go straight past Alligator Blood but didn’t want to put the race to bed.

  4. I’m Thunderstruck: When they took off in front, he just got the best drag up and once presented at the top of the straight, it looked race over when he loomed, but on the line, he was safely held. 

  5. Mr Brightside:The jury is out as to whether he’s a serious WFA contender at the top level. Potential to forgive him here though because he was off two joke races re tempo. Made the move on the turn and just didn’t have the grounding to finish it off.

Place, Race Number, Horse Name, Time /  Margin Back

  1. 3, Alligator Blood, 1:48.9

  2. 5, Mo’unga, 0.75L

  3. 1, Zaaki, 0.95L

  4. 2, I’m Thunderstruck, 1.05L

  5. 4, Mr Brightside, 2.8L

Here's hoping that the 2023 Underwood Stakes matches the thrilling spectacle of 2022, but regardless of the outcome, don't forget to mark your calendar for Sunday, October 1, to catch this year's thrilling instalment. 

Where to Bet on the 2023 Underwood Stakes

The 2023 Underwood Stakes promises to be an exciting Group 1 race held at Sandown Racecourse. While this preview does not provide a list of the runners, we can still offer some guidance on selecting the right bookmaker for your bets on the race. Choosing an Australian bookmaker can be overwhelming, but we aim to make it easier by suggesting a few reliable options. Before diving into the recommendations, it's important to study the field of runners for the Underwood Stakes and decide which horses you wish to bet on.

One of the key factors to consider when selecting a bookmaker is the odds they offer. It may require some effort, but visiting multiple bookmakers and comparing the odds they provide for your preferred market can help you determine which bookie offers the best odds. By choosing the bookmaker with the highest odds, you increase your potential return. For a comprehensive list of Australian bookmakers that offer Group 1 thoroughbred horse racing markets, you can refer to our Bookmaker Reviews page.

Another aspect to consider is your comfort level with a particular bookmaker. Many Australian punters prefer to bet with bookmakers they are familiar with, whether it's due to the app or website they frequently use. It is entirely reasonable to stick with a bookmaker you feel comfortable placing your bets with. Our Bookmaker Reviews page provides information on the reliability of each bookie, which can assist you in making an informed decision.

Promotions also play a significant role in bookmaker selection. Check our OnlyRacing Promotions page to see what various Australian bookmakers offer in terms of bonuses and promotions for depositing with them. Some bookies may have specific promotions for the Underwood Stakes, so it's worth exploring those options as well.

Ultimately, there is no definitive method for choosing a bookmaker for the 2023 Underwood Stakes. The three tips mentioned above are all valid considerations. However, it is crucial to ensure that you bet with a reliable bookmaker and provide any necessary verification information before placing your bets. Below, we have included an excerpt from our OnlyRacing Reviews page, featuring five Australian bookmakers that offer markets for Group 1 thoroughbred races across the country. By clicking on the hyperlinks, you can access detailed information about each bookmaker's offerings.

Remember, the key is to choose a bookmaker that suits your needs and preferences, ensuring an enjoyable and secure betting experience for the 2023 Underwood Stakes.

The Venue

Sandown Racecourse, officially known as Ladbrokes Park since a naming rights deal in 2015, is an iconic fixture of Melbourne's thoroughbred horse racing scene. Situated in the suburb of Springvale, it has been the heart of horse racing in Melbourne's south-east since its establishment in 1965.

Known for its spacious and modern design, Sandown was the first metropolitan racecourse built in the 20th century. Its creation was spurred by the Victoria Amateur Turf Club (now the Melbourne Racing Club), who envisaged a new course that could supplement their Caulfield Racecourse operations. Sandown's design, which accommodated both flat racing and jumps, was unprecedented and innovative at the time.

The racecourse has been the venue for several notable racing events throughout its history, with the Sandown Guineas and the Sandown Classic (now known as the Zipping Classic) being the most prestigious annual races. The Sandown Classic has seen many of Australia's greatest horses competing, including the renowned Zipping, who won the race four times in succession.

In 2001, the track underwent a significant redevelopment, introducing a second track known as Sandown Hillside, offering a different racing experience with longer straights and wider turns. Today, the versatility of Sandown with its two distinct tracks - the Hillside and Lakeside - continues to make it a unique fixture in the Melbourne racing scene. Despite many changes over the years, the essence of Sandown Racecourse remains the same - a premier location for high-quality thoroughbred racing.

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The History of the Race

The Underwood Stakes is a pulse-pounding 1800m race held annually, and now run at Sandown racecourse during the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival. This heart-stopping showdown boasts a prize pool of $750,000, placing it among the wealthiest races for horses aged three years and over. This race lures an exceptional gathering of budding superstars and established talents alike each year, with entrants running under weight-for-age conditions.

The Underwood Stakes' illustrious history began in 1924, and over the years it has been run at various distances between 1400m and 2000m.  However, since 1992 it has been run at the 1800m which it is run at today.  The inaugural race was won by the powerful gelding Whittier, marking the start of many memorable races to come.  It was first known as the Williamstown Stakes and was run at a number of different racecourses, including Williamstown itself.  In 1948 it moved to Caulfield and it was only moved to its new home, Sandown, in 2021, as part of a major restructuring of the Melbourne Spring Carnival, by the Melbourne Racing Club.  

It began as a Principal Race and received Group 1 status in 1979, solidifying its place as an essential event in the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.  This adjustment elevated the event's significance and magnetism within the racing community. Its placement in the racing calendar over the years means that it strategically precedes key events like the Caulfield Cup and the Cox Plate, acting as a significant form guide for these esteemed contests.

Three straight Caulfield Cup winners Northerly (2002), Mummify(2003) and Elvstroem (2004) came through winning the Underwood. Homesman missed by a nose from adding to the list. Three times since 2010 the Caulfield Cup winner ran in the Underwood.

The Underwood Stakes is also recognised as the first weight-for-age race in the spring carnival longer than 1600m and gives those competing stayers a chance to fine tune their spring carnival itinerary. Traditional lead-up races to the Underwood Stakes include the Group 2 P.B. Lawrence Stakes and the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes, held at Caulfield and Flemington, respectively.

The Makybe Diva Stakes, in particular, is a phenomenal lead up pointer for the Underwood Stakes with 6 winners in the last 10 years having come through that race.

With absolute legends of the track amongst the roll call of winners over the years - Phar Lap, Tobin Bronze and Bonecrusher to name a few from yesteryear, and in more recent times Zaaki and So You Think - the Underwood Stakes truly deserves its place amongst the greats on the Australian racing calendar. 

Past Winners of the Race

An illustrious list of winners and stars of the Australian turf.

  • 2022 - Alligator Blood[3]

  • 2021 - Zaaki[4]

  • 2020 - Russian Camelot[5]

  • 2019 - Black Heart Bart[6]

  • 2018 - Homesman[7]

  • 2017 - Bonneval[8]

  • 2016 - Black Heart Bart[9]

  • 2015 - Mourinho[10]

  • 2014 - Foreteller[11]

  • 2013 - It's a Dundeel[12]

  • 2012 - Ocean Park[13]

  • 2011 - Lion Tamer[14]

  • 2010 - So You Think[15]

  • 2009 - Heart Of Dreams[16]

  • 2008 - Weekend Hussler[17]

  • 2007 - Rubiscent[18]

  • 2006 - El Segundo[19]

  • 2005 - Perlin[20]

  • 2004 - Elvstroem[21]

  • 2003 - Mummify[22]

  • 2002 - Northerly[23]

  • 2001 - Northerly[24]

  • 2000 - Oliver Twist[25]

  • 1999 - Intergaze[26]

  • 1998 - Tie the Knot[27]

  • 1997 - Always Aloof[28]

  • 1996 - Octagonal[29]

  • 1995 - Sharscay[30]

  • 1994 - Jeune[31]

  • 1993 - Runyon[32]

  • 1992 - Prince Salieri[33]

  • 1991 - Dr. Grace[34]

  • 1990 - The Phantom[35]

  • 1989 - Almaarad[36]

  • 1988 - Authaal[37]

  • 1987 - Rubiton[38]

  • 1986 - Bonecrusher[39]

  • 1985 - Tristarc[40]

  • 1984 - Bounty Hawk[41]

  • 1983 - Trissaro[42]

  • 1982 - Fearless Pride 

  • 1981 - Sovereign Red 

  • 1980 - †My Brown Jug / Waitangirua 

  • 1979 - Valley Of Georgia 

  • 1978 - So Called 

  • 1977 - Denise's Joy 

  • 1976 - How Now 

  • 1975 - Taras Bulba 

  • 1974 - Frozen Section 

  • 1973 - Scotch And Dry 

  • 1972 - Sobar 

  • 1971 - Gay Icarus 

  • 1970 - Big Philou

  • 1969 - Rain Lover

  • 1968 - Lowland 

  • 1967 - Future 

  • 1966 - Tobin Bronze

  • 1965 - Future 

  • 1964 - Contempler 

  • 1963 - Havelock 

  • 1962 - Aquanita 

  • 1961 - Aquanita 

  • 1960 - Lord

  • 1959 - Trellios 

  • 1958 - Lord

  • 1957 - Syntax 

  • 1956 - Ray Ribbon 

  • 1955 - Cromis

  •  1954 - Flying Halo 

  • 1953 - Flying Halo 

  • 1952 - Ellerslie 

  • 1951 - Laurie Hussar 

  • 1950 - Beau Gem 

  • 1949 - Beau Gem 

  • 1948 - Royal Gem

  • 1947 - Attley 

  • 1946 - Attley 

  • 1945 - St. Fairy 

  • 1944 - ‡Amana / Tea Cake

  •  1943 - Gay Revelry 

  • 1942 - race not held

  • 1941 - Sun Valley 

  • 1940 - Ajax

  • 1939 - Ajax

  • 1938 - Ajax

  • 1937 - Young Idea

  • 1936 - Peter Fils 

  • 1935 - Young Idea

  • 1934 - Hall Mark

  • 1933 - Hall Mark

  • 1932 - Liberal 

  • 1931 - Phar Lap

  • 1930 - Waterline 

  • 1929 - Highland 

  • 1928 - Highland 

  • 1927 - Royal Charter 

  • 1926 - Heroic

  • 1925 - Whittier

  • 1924 - Whittier