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HomeHorse Racing2022 Underwood Stakes Field & Odds Update: Zaaki Favourite

2022 Underwood Stakes Field & Odds Update: Zaaki Favourite

The punters are tipping the choice by Annabel Neasham to avoid wasting her weight-for-age star Zaaki every week to defend his title within the Underwood Stakes to repay with the reigning champ favorite for Sunday’s $1 million showdown.

Zaaki (Photo: Steve Hart) | HorseRacing.com.au

Zaaki is favorite to win the 2022 Underwood Stakes in Melbourne this Sunday. Photograph: Steve Hart.

Neasham withdrew Zaaki from Sydney’s Group 1 George Major Stakes final weekend in favour of a run this weekend within the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) over additional at Sandown.

The star import gained the occasion final Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival and is now out to change into the primary back-to-back winner on consecutive years since Northerly (2001 – 2002).

Zaaki was glorious first-up profitable the Group 2 Tramway Stakes (1400m) within the mud at Randwick.

The evergreen eight-year-old was good second-up within the autumn profitable the $5 million The All-Star Mile (1600m) at Flemington, however he goes straight from 1400m to 1800m this prep.

In The All-Star Mile he defeated I’m Thunderstruck who’s once more the principle hazard within the Underwood Stakes area.

Surprising five-year-old I’m Thunderstruck represents Mick Value & Michael Kent Junior and is match third-up off two glorious Melbourne runs already this prep.

He was narrowly denied success first-up when second to The Everest-bound Snapdancer within the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) earlier than his Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) success when working down Alligator Blood on September 10.

There may be cash coming for the New Zealand-bred I’m Thunderstruck to put up one other Group 1 victory on his technique to the $5 million Ladbrokes Cox Plate subsequent month.

“I feel he’s a greater horse now than he was final prep,” co-trainer Mick Value advised Simply Horse Racing this week.

“He was somewhat bit fatter final prep, for no matter motive and we didn’t catch him proper, however he nonetheless ran properly in The All-Star Mile, and he was unbelievable within the Doncaster.

“This time in, he’s proper within the zone. He’s not feeling exhausting runs which is sweet horses’ stuff.

“It’s a small area. There’ll be one out in entrance, Alligator Blood, the remainder shall be in a bunch.

“It’s not like a frenetic 1800 metres. At weight-for-age, they roll round after which they dash.

“He’s a weight-for-age horse so I don’t assume the tempo shall be towards him and I feel the 1800 metres shall be positive.

“You’ll be rubbing your fingers collectively in case you are the MRC.

“Other than Anamoe and possibly one or two others, these are the Cox Plate horses.”

Present Underwood Stakes betting at Ladbrokes.com.au has Zaaki on high at $2.45 whereas I’m Thunderstruck is the early market mover backed in from $3.30 to $2.90.

Neasham in the meantime additionally saddles-up her twin Group 1 profitable son of Savabeel, Mo’unga, who’s at $19 to return to his higher type.

The now five-year-old hasn’t gained a race because the Group 1 Winx Stakes (1400m) over 12 months in the past, however he has been aggressive in loads since together with his final begin third within the Makybe Diva Stakes.

There might solely be six runners on this yr’s Underwood, nevertheless it stays a powerful area with an additional two possibilities below $10 to win.

The Ben & JD Hayes-trained Doncaster Mile champion Mr Brightside is subsequent finest at Underwood Stakes odds of $4.40 to put up his fourth win on the trot.

The constant son of Bullbars, who ran fourth to Zaak within the autumn’s All-Star Mile earlier than his Doncaster Mile overcome I’m Thunderstruck, is two-from-two this prep.

He was good within the Group 2 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) recent profitable narrowly and confirmed terrific enchancment when simply accounting for Inspirational Woman in his 4.5 size Group 2 Feehan Stakes (1600m) win at The Valley on September 3.

Mr Brightside jumps from barrier 4 with final yr’s profitable hoop Craig Williams within the saddle.

The opposite key participant is the Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained Makybe Diva Stakes third place-getter Alligator Blood whose final turf triumph ($8) was the Stradbroke Handicap over the winter in Brisbane.

The rails-drawn Nonconformist for Grahame Begg is then the $71 roughie of the lot with final yr’s Caulfield Cup runner-up certain to be higher over additional wanting forward.

The 2022 Underwood Stakes is scheduled as Race 7 at 4:25pm (AEST) on Sunday’s nine-race Sandown card.



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