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2013 Underwood Stakes: Horse racing preview, live blog, tips

21st September, 2013
2013 Underwood Stakes - Final Field

1 Green Moon (10) R Hickmott B Prebble 59
2 Manighar (3) P Moody D Stackhouse 59
3 Mr Moet (13) A Durrant D Oliver 59
4 Foreteller (11) C Waller C Newitt 59
5 Happy Trails (4) P Beshara D Dunn 59
6 Ethiopia (1) P Carey R McLeod 59
7 Sea Moon (5) R Hickmott C Williams 59
8 Puissance De Lune (14) D Weir G Boss 59
9 Waldpark (9) A Freedman B Melham 59
10 My Quest For Peace (2) P Moody L Nolen 59
11 It's A Dundeel (12) M Baker J McDonald 58
12 Atlantic Jewel (7) M Kavanagh M Rodd 57
13 Silent Acheiver (8) R James S Arnold 57
14 Dear Demi (6) C Conners B Rawiller 56

Start: 4.55pm AEST
Venue: Caulfield
TV: 7TWO, SKY, TVN (LIVE)
Royal Randwick, the jewel in racing's crown. (AAP Image/Paul Miller)
Expert
21st September, 2013
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Tongues are wagging across the country in anticipation of the clash between Atlantic Jewel and Puissance De Lune in today’s Group 1 Underwood Stakes. Join us on The Roar from 4.55pm AEST for a preview, live blog and post-race analysis.

It has been raining all week in Melbourne and a wet track may affect the race if rain hits Melbourne today. After heavy downpour on Wednesday, the track was expected to be rated Dead.

After winning last weekend’s Group 2 Stocks Stakes with the amount of effort she would give in a training canter, Atlantic Jewel backs up as the odd-on favourite.

The short back up would normally be a concern but under her circumstances, it won’t be. The biggest test here for the Cox Plate favourite is the 1800m trip.

She exits the sprint distance in which she is bred to run and steps up against genuine 2000m horses.

If she covers the 1800m to win with the same dominance she showed in the Memsie Stakes, it would just about erase the only remaining question mark over a Cox Plate kill.

More tantalising than just seeing her at the track, racegoers are licking their lips in anticipation for her first clash against Melbourne Cup favourite, Puissance De Lune.

Although going down narrowly in the Makybe Diva Stakes, Puissance De Lune is slowly getting out to a more suitable distance for him.

His effort a fortnight ago was full of merit and if Atlantic Jewel was not in the race, he would be the odds on favourite.

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If ever there was a perfect horse to draw the widest gate, it is Puissance De Lune. He’s won that here and will drop out straight to the back before coming home with that devastating acceleration.

Darren Weir has indicated he is still not fully fit but that should not be a problem because his goal is firmly fixed as the Melbourne Cup.

There will be plenty of people taking the Atlantic Jewel – Puissance De Lune quinella.

It takes a good horse to beat Puissance De Lune and that horse is lining up here today.

Foreteller is at surprising odds considering how well he finished in the Makybe Diva Stakes but his opening price was three times that of the Cup favourite.

We now know Foreteller’s win in the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes was no fluke and he’s one of the better weight-for-age horses going around at the moment.

Sea Moon is out to make amends after slipping at the gates a fortnight ago. Although he gave the field a five length head start, he travelled reasonably before Craig Williams eased him up.

In the event of rain, Sea Moon is expected to move on the markets because his best runs in Europe have come on wet ground.

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There was a big unknown factor about him before but he was crunched on the market late from $6 into 4.20 when they jumped. There are a lot of punters who have faith in this horse .

It’s A Dundeel returns to the track after a solid first-up effort in the Memsie, where he was blocked for a run at a crucial stage of the race.

It was an uncharacteristic mistake by James Macdonald but his second-up record is perfect, with two wins from two attempts.

Getting out to a more suitable distance, he is a big danger and is nicely flying under the media radar with so much attention given to others in this race.

Green Moon was probably the best finishing horse in the Memsie Stakes and he too would have found the 1400m too short. The further he gets out, the better this horse is.

He has shown excellent versatility since his Melbourne Cup win. Weights for this year’s edition were released on Wednesday and Green Moon has been given zero favours, having been allocated 57.5kg.

Owner Lloyd Williams knows the reality of how difficult is is to carry that weight to victory and it may prompt a change in strategy, with a greater emphasis on the Cox Plate.

From a stallion perspective, it would certainly make sense.

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For this reason, we should expect a bold run from Green Moon and he is a big chance to run a place.

Mr Moet has matched it against most of these horses in autumn but he looked to be struggling in the Makybe Diva.

He has Damien Oliver on board and this will be his first Group 1 ride since returning from suspension. As good as he is, it will take the ride of his career to get up today.

Ethiopia’s first-up run in the Makybe Diva Stakes was enough to suggest he is fit, healthy and progressing nicely towards the Melbourne Cup. He was not ridden out a fortnight ago and it’s unlikely he will today either.

Today’s race will be the most interesting race we have seen Atlantic Jewel in so far. By no means is victory assured for her because the further in distance she goes, the more it will suit her opponents.

She’s still the class horse here but this will be harder than her Memsie win.

Alfred Chan’s tips
1. Atlantic Jewel
2. It’s A Dundeel
3. Puissance De Lune
4. Green Moon

Justin Cinque’s tips
1. Atlantic Jewel
2. Foreteller
3. It’s A Dundeel
4. Puissance De Lune

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Andrew Hawkins’ tips
1. Atlantic Jewel
2. It’s A Dundeel
3. Silent Achiever
4. Walkpark

Cameron Rose’s tips
1. Atlantic Jewel
2. Foreteller
3. Sea Moon
4. Waldpark

Roar writers 2013 Spring Carnival tipping tally (five points if winning horse is tipped for first; three points if tipped for second; two for third and one for fourth):
After week five
Alfred Chan: 21
Justin Cinque: 15
Cameron Rose: 13
Andrew Hawkins: 12

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