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Timeform Recap - 2017 Underwood Stakes

Timeform recap the 2017 Underwood Stakes won by Bonneval for training partners Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman.

Timeform Recap - 2017 Underwood Stakes

Timeform recap the 2017 Underwood Stakes won by Bonneval for training partners Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman.

Bonneval strengthens her Caulfield Cup claims in the Underwood.
Bonneval strengthens her Caulfield Cup claims in the Underwood. Picture:Racing and Sports

On the back of a massive weekend of racing keeping the recap brief is going to a test. Bonneval Horseform winning the Underwood Stakes does help though, as we are tracking back over territory that we have already covered this spring.


We took a good look at Bonneval and how she profiles for the Caulfield Cup in our recap of the Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes - which you can read here - and we touched on how the main Caulfield Cup chances are shaping up in our recap of the Naturalism - which you can read here - and very little has changed after the weekend's action.

The Underwood turned into another strongly run contest and Bonneval thrived on it as she always does - edging her Timeform rating up from 119 to 120.

Adjusted for weight-for-age, Harlem and Humidor currently sit atop the Caulfield Cup ratings at 134 and 133 respectively with Bonneval breathing down their necks at 131. Despite the Underwood being run at a strong tempo Bonneval finished faster than par - from the 800m mark her finishing speed as a percentage of overall race time was 103.4% - and that hints at there being the potential for more to come.

The finishing speed of the Rupert Clarke Stakes was 98.1% of the overall race speed. In other words, they were slowing fairly dramatically after Attention and a brave Theanswermyfriend did too much early. Both paid the price and Santa Ana Lane Horseform was best placed to swoop in and pick up the pieces.

Mr Sneaky Horseform ran at least as well as the winner, having been closer to the speed, but with a rating of 115 good enough to take the prize this has to be considered a substandard Group 1 handicap.

Back on Friday night we had another strongly run Group 1 sprint - the Moir doing a better job of living up to the Group 1 title for all that it wasn't a vintage edition of the race.

She Will Reign powers home to win the Moir.
She Will Reign powers home to win the Moir. Picture:Racing and Sports

Sheidel and Russian Revolution matched motors at a strong tempo but it wasn't so strong that Russian Revolution's tame finale could be excused and it wasn't so strong that She Will Reign's eye-catching close should be taken lightly.

She Will Reign Horseform was rated 119 at two, and while she didn't have to prove herself any better than that to win the Moir, her closing speed points to her performance being better than the bare result by roughly a length.

She may not have raised her rating but it's an achievement to match such a lofty juvenile number at three, especially at the first time of asking.

Three-year-olds were a big part of the weekend's racing with Guineas and Derby Trials at Flemington, Moonee Valley and Caulfield.

Kementari had to settle for third (rated 112p) but looks a big chance of turning the tables in the Guineas

The Oaks and Derby Trials at Flemington on Wednesday look a good new initiative for the second (maybe third...) wave heading towards those classics and both drew competitive fields. Both were steadily run affairs, though, and the form is a long way short of what we would expect to see in Cup Week.

The Stutt Stakes at Moonee Valley on Friday also has a below average look about it with the aptly named The Mission Horseform, 'fresh' off a kamikaze mission in the Golden Rose, again out to self destruct from the front, leaving Showtime Horseform to stagger across the line first in a closing split of 37.97 seconds.

Showtime is rated 107 and may improve on that if allowed to do things at a more sedate tempo but richer spring prizes are probably beyond him on this evidence. Two Beroccas and an afternoon on the couch might be his immediate target.

The pressure was much more sedate for the Guineas Prelude and Perast Horseform and Summer Passage Horseform made the most of that running to 115 and 116 respectively.

Kementari Horseform had to settle for third (rated 112p) but looks a big chance of turning the tables in the Guineas having still looked a bit new at just his fourth start. He took a while to get himself organised once the pressure went on but ran the best last 400m and 200m of the race.

Race favourite Royal Symphony Horseform has shown himself best when the pressure is high and was unsuited by the way things unfolded. That is a little concern with him. He's looked great in fast times against lesser horses but a softer tempo and faster horses that don't fall back in his lap has seen him beaten for the first time. The step up to the mile for the Guineas looks important for him.

The fillies, headed by Booker Horseform, ran almost identical time to the colts (0.05 seconds slower) but didn't close quite as strongly. Booker is a smart filly but she had the race on her terms here and a 107 rating may just about see her out this time in.

In second and third Shoals and Catchy ran to 112 and 114 respectively and look open to more improvement. Catchy was disappointing in relation to her 9/10 starting price but a rating of 114 is only just shy of her Blue Diamond-winning rating of 116 and her closing sectionals say that she is going every bit as well.

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