THE Group 1 Underwood Stakes is one of the must-watch races this spring and there are two runners that punters have come for.
New Zealand champion Bonneval has attracted plenty of each way interest having won the Dato Tan Chin Nam in fine style last start, but the most popular runner in the market is Hartnell.
The James Cummings-trained runner cost punters plenty of money when finishing second in the Makybe Diva Stakes last start, but a flood of money has come for Winx’s closest competitor.
We look at the betting options for both Bonneval and Hartnell for this Sunday’s feature race as we think it will be a race in two.
Get the best odds for the Underwood Stakes with Topbetta.com.au which is offering its top tote product on all races from Caulfield.
Four-year-old mare Bonneval is a class act from New Zealand which has won six of its nine starts.
The Baker/Forsman-trained daughter of Makfi has won five consecutive stakes or group races, which has included both the New Zealand and ATC Oaks and its last start win in the Dato Tan Chin Nam was full of class.
It was able to sit off the pace and come with a searching run at Moonee Valley before holding off a late finish from Abbey Marie. The win wasn’t typical of a staying type resuming over the mile, but Bonneval showed why it’s one of the highest-rated Kiwi horses.
This will be its first run at Caulfield and it is a track which can trip some thoroughbreds up, but it has raced at similar tracks in New Zealand and having Hugh Bowman in the saddle should only help its winning chances.
It has never faced a field of this weight-for-age quality, but punters should be confident with the $4.60 chance at Sportsbet.com.au and it could well be the next big thing to come out of New Zealand.
Hartnell is the class act of the field, but punters were let down last start in the Makybe Diva Stakes.
The James Cummings-trained seven-year-old has been dodging Winx throughout this campaign and that paid dividends fresh up when it won the P.B. Lawrence Stakes by 2.25 lengths.
The son of Authorized was the odds-on favourite to win last start, but it was left in front too early at Flemington and the race was set up for a swooper. That’s exactly what happened as Humidor was able to sprint off the back of runners and storm home.
Hartnell was entitled to finish better, but it fought gamely to the line for second and it still defeated some talented types along the way. Its second-up form hasn’t been great in the past, so the disappointing run could also be put down to that.
It’s on track to run in either the Cox Plate, Caulfield Cup and/or Melbourne Cup. Winning the Underwood Stakes would see its odds firm up for all three races and if it plans to be a serious winning chance later this spring, it would need to beat this field.
Bookmakers are offering $2 for Hartnell which better than last start and that could be seen as good value by some punters.
Bonneval vs. Hartnell tip
Bonneval is a good betting proposition at its current price, but we can’t overlook a champion runner like Hartnell at its odds.
$2 at CrownBet.com.au for a proven weight-for-age type is good money and despite its run last start, we think Hartnell could return to its best with a better trip in transit.
Drawing barrier eight might be considered a bad barrier draw, but that will allow jockey Kerrin McEvoy to sit just off the pace and get a drag into the race.
That’s going to be key this Sunday and Hartnell looks the way to go.