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Hawk’s 2014 Underwood Stakes/George Main Stakes Day Analysis and Selections

September 20, 2014

It’s not long now until footy finals are over, October is here and spring racing is the topic of choice in Australia.

I’ve provided my selections for all races, as well as my analysis of the two Group 1 races – the Underwood Stakes and the George Main Stakes – and arguably the most important race of the day, the Naturalism Stakes.

Good luck!

CAULFIELD

Race 1 – PANCARE FOUNDATION PLATE (1000m)

3 – ZELETTO
1 – BULLPIT
2 – PETROLOGY
9 – DECONSTRUCTED

Race 2 – THE INGLIS READY2RACE SALE BONUS (1700m)

11 – FIREHOUSE ROCK
3 – KAIZAEN
9 – MANHATTAN AVENUE
5 – WAR POINT

Race 3 – ALANNAH HILL PLATE (1100m)

6 – ANATINA
7 – RIFLEMAN
1 – ADAMANTIUM
2 – KENCELLA

Race 4 – TMB PRINTING HANDICAP (1400m)

13 – THINKING OF YOU
3 – FONTEIN RUBY
9 – PICKIN’ TIME
1 – VEUVELICIOUS

Race 5 – DALZIEL RACING TILE IMPORTER HANDICAP (1400m)

7 – MEMBERS JOY
4 – KEEP DE ROSE
5 – SUAVITO
13 – DIG A PONY

Race 6 – GROUP 3 NATURALISM STAKES (2000m)

One of the most interesting races of the day as all runners search for a ballot-exempt Caulfield Cup spot.

I was initially keen on ZANBAGH and ARALDO, but Zanbagh has been scratched and I’m not sure Araldo will be in the right position. That said, I think Araldo is one to follow going forward.

Last year’s race turned into a farce with Glen Boss controlling the speed and pretty much ensuring he was the only horse who could win. This year could turn out to be something similar with limited speed.

I think the horse they are all going to have to run down is ENTIRELY PLATINUM. He was terrible last start in the Chelmsford, but given the bottomless conditions I think he can be forgiven. Before that, he’d been game in winning a Rosehill handicap, and this is the distance he wants. He will sit up on speed with BONFIRE and can prove too tough in the final stages.

The x-factor is OUR VOODOO PRINCE, finally getting to a suitable distance. He was the early Caulfield Cup favourite off his top-notch win over this course and distance in the Easter Cup and a repeat would see him go very close in this. Pace is likely to play against him, but on his autumn performances it may not be a killer.

SPILLWAY will be charging late after two good weight-for-age runs, but whether he can get over the top of two leaders who’ve had a soft run remains a query. I still think he can make the Caulfield Cup field even without winning here, so all is not lost for those that have backed him in futures markets if he does miss out today.

Bonfire can hang around for a placing, while LET’S MAKE ADEAL is the interesting runner. If she settles more forward, she could be in the mix.

3 – ENTIRELY PLATINUM
4 – OUR VOODOO PRINCE
1 – SPILLWAY
5 – BONFIRE

Race 7 – GROUP 1 UNDERWOOD STAKES (1800m)

Not the greatest Underwood Stakes, but that may not be a bad thing as there looks to be money to be made.

Should say from the outset that if betting was about finding the best horse in the race, I’d have everything I owned on SILENT ACHIEVER. She’s the class of the field and

But I’m not convinced the way the race will be run will suit her, and so I’m left with two horses I think will be suited today.

STAR ROLLING was good first-up in the Lawrence Stakes, with those behind including Spillway, Puissance De Lune and today’s rivals FORETELLER and LIDARI, before a somewhat disappointing performance in the Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes. However, he was left chasing The Cleaner as the Tasmanian upped the pace, which dulled his own sprint and left him a sitting shot. That’s a must forgive performance, and with a softer pace, he can turn it around with victory today.

The same caveat about the Dato can be made about the import CRACKERJACK KING. He was right with Star Rolling when the tempo increased, and second up off a two-year break, his fitness just gave out. He’s 100-1 with some outlets, and is far from the worst 100-1 shot you’ll ever see. He’ll run better than his odds suggest – whether that’s good enough to win, I’m not sure, but I’ll be having something on.

Silent Achiever has to be included because she is the class runner, while STIPULATE was impressive in the Heatherlie Handicap and though he won’t get the same scenario here, he could still be in the mix. Next best HAPPY TRAILS.

7 – STAR ROLLING
5 – CRACKERJACK KING
10 – SILENT ACHIEVER
9 – STIPULATE

Race 8 – GROUP 3 SPORTINGBET SPRINT SERIES HEAT 2 STAKES (1200m)

1 – SAMAREADY
13 – GIRL GUIDE
3 – SPIRITS DANCE
5 – ENQUARE

Race 9 – LE PINE FUNERALS HANDICAP (1400m)

5 – TRUST IN A GUST
16 – CAUTHEN
10 – PIN YOUR HOPES
3 – LUCKY HUSSLER

RANDWICK

Race 1 – BACARDI UNTAMEABLE HANDICAP (1600m)

3 – DEVONSHIRE DUKE
1 – SUPREME WARRIOR
7 – BLACK REVOLVER
2 – PAEDEROS

Race 2 – GROUP 3 BILL RITCHIE HANDICAP (1400m)

2 – MANAWANUI
1 – MONTON
5 – ROCK STURDY
3 – RIVA DE LAGO

Race 3 – LISTED HERITAGE STAKES (1100m)

6 – THIS IS AUSTRALIA
2 – BUGATTY
7 – SHAUMARI
1 – DELECTATION

Race 4 – GROUP 2 TEA ROSE STAKES (1400m)

1 – EARTHQUAKE
6 – LADY SHARAPOVA
4 – WINX
5 – SULTRY FEELING

Race 5 – GROUP 2 HILL STAKES (2000m)

1 – MORIARTY
7 – CRITERION
8 – LA AMISTAD
2 – BAGMAN

Race 6 – GROUP 1 GEORGE MAIN STAKES (1600m)

Interesting race, and quite like many of the Sydney Group races so far this spring, not quite the strongest renewal.

Surely this is ROYAL DESCENT’s day to finally win an open age Group 1. It’s hard to believe she hasn’t won since her Oaks romp but the three times she’s tackled this track and distance she’s finished second, by a half neck in last year’s George Main, by a half length in this year’s Doncaster Mile and by a nose in the Chelmsford. Surely, SURELY, this is her time to shine.

I think PANZER DIVISION is a definite danger, as he’ll be up on speed in a race that lacks pace with the light weight of 50.5kg. Expect him to be in front as they top the rise, it just depends whether this is all too soon for him – he did only win his first start, a Kembla maiden, two months ago yesterday.

I love LUCIA VALENTINA, and she was very good to me first up with her explosive finish at decent odds. Second-up in a paceless race as she embarks on a Cups campaign, I wouldn’t expect the same sort of performance. In fact, I probably wouldn’t back her again now until the Caulfield Cup.

Next best SACRED FALLS, who should be ready to fire from here on in, and RISING ROMANCE.

6 – ROYAL DESCENT
10 – PANZER DIVISION
7 – LUCIA VALENTINA
1 – SACRED FALLS

Race 7 – WILLIAM SHAW KNITWEAR HANDICAP (1200m)

6 – ATMOSPHERICAL
8 – MAYSOON
2 – EQUATOR
11 – RED DYNAMITE

Race 8 – GROUP 2 THE SHORTS (1100m)

3 – TERRAVISTA
7 – VILLA VERDE
9 – DIDNTCOSTALOT
6 – I’M ALL THE TALK

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