Pro punter preview, betting strategy & video

underwood stakes
underwood stakes

The Underwood Stakes is a Group 1 weight-for-age race over 1800 metres, to be run at Sandown Racecourse in 2022. Current prizemoney is $1 million.

The Underwood Stakes was first run all the way back in 1924, at the Williamstown Racing Club. After a number of racing club mergers in Melbourne, it found its home at Caulfield in 1948 before being moved to Sandown in 2021. It has been a Group 1 event since 1979.

The race is a traditional early spring run for horses on the way to the major Spring Carnival races. Some of the biggest names to have won the Underwood Stakes are Phar Lap, Ajax, Big Philou, Bonecrusher, Octagonal, Tie The Knot, Northerly and So You Think.

Trev’s video preview

Underwood Stakes 2022: Trev’s preview

Speed Alligator Blood will lead from Zaaki. Mr Brightside will sit one back and one out. I’m Thunderstruck will be last (in a very small field).


Prices courtesy of TopSport at time of publication.

1 Zaaki [$2.50] is clear favourite for mine. He’s second-up here after winning the Tramway first-up. He’s won second-up at his two previous preps, including this race last year. I’ve rated him a length under that run and still have him on top here. He beat I’m Thunderstruck in the All-Star Mile where I thought he was holding him late.

2 I’m Thunderstruck [$2.80] was brilliant in the Makybe Diva in chasing down Alligator Blood and getting the bob in. He really savaged the line and went to a new level ratings-wise.

4 Mr Brightside [$4.20is flying… he went out winning the Doncaster in Autumn and has come back to win the PB Lawrence and the Feehan so far this prep. Having said that, none of the horses from the PB Lawrence have really kicked on and The Valley was a mad leader’s track for the Feehan – he found the front and just held them from there.

3 Alligator Blood [$7.50] was terrific in the Makybe Diva, only just getting pipped by Mr Brightside. He led out and then kicked, only getting rolled by an inch.

5 Mo’unga [$21] gets Nash on but hasn’t been going very well. He was well placed in the Makybe Diva and didn’t give much, getting beaten three lengths by I’m Thunderstruck and Alligator Blood. It’s hard to see him making up that ground.

6 Nonconformist [$81] isn’t up to this.

Betting strategy

Top pick Zaaki
Best value Alligator Blood

Only a very small field but it still looks like a good race with four genuine chances. I’ve got Zaaki on top and ahead of the rest. Price-wise Alligator Blood looks value… I’ve got him a lot closer to Mr Brightside on my figures than the market has.

Punt like a pro with Trevor Lawson’s Melbourne Ratings.

As well as a full set of rated prices, speed maps and suggested bets, you can spend each and every raceday with a pro punter: the Melbourne Ratings Live Page gives you direct access to Trev himself to ask whatever you like.

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