Sincero set to lead NZB Spring WFA Championship

NZ Bloodstock’s Caulfield Spring WFA Championship continues with another exciting renewal of the G1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) on Saturday.

The Underwood Stakes offers a ballot exemption from the Caulfield Cup and the last horse to complete the double was Elvstroem in 2004.  The Underwood is the third leg of the NZB Caulfield Championship and it has been won in the last two years by (NZ) horses Lion Tamer and So You Think.

Second Effort (Mossman) currently leads the Series with 16 points but he won’t start in the Underwood and that leaves the door open for Sincero (Umatilla) to take over at the top of the table.  The Stephen Farley trained five-year-old was a brilliant winner of the NZB Memsie Stakes last time out.

The Underwood stakes will see the next round of the staunch rivalry between G1 winners Manighar (Linamix) and Southern Speed (Southern Image).  The Peter Moody trained Manighar beat Southern Speed by a nose in the 2012 Australian Cup but the mare turned the tables in the G2 Makybe Diva Stakes.

Moody will also saddle the Cups bound import Voila Ici (Daylami) who has won 13 of his 29 starts including two at Group 1 level.  He ran a good sixth first-up in the NZB Memsie Stakes.

Kiwi raider Ocean Park (Thorn Park) is also in contention after a last-start G1 victory in the Makfi Challenge Stakes.  The Karaka graduate campaigned in Australia last season where he ran the unluckiest of seconds in the G1 Rosehill Guineas.

Team Hawkes saddles up Melbourne Cup placegetter Maluckyday (Zabeel) and Sydney Cup winner Niwot (Galileo).  Both horses come into the race second-up, with Karaka graduate Maluckyday making a promising return in the NZB Memsie Stakes after a year on the sidelines.

Besides Maluckyday, Cambridge Stud champion Zabeel will be represented by the Leon Corstens trained G1 South Australian Derby winner Zabeelionaire.  Craig Newitt takes over from Damien Oliver who was unable to make his allotted weight of 52kg in the Caulfield Cup

Two interesting runners prominent in Cups betting are December Draw (Medecis) and Mawingo (Tertullian) who both resumed in the Makybe Diva Stakes.  December Draw won the G1 Turnbull Stakes last year and Mawingo grabbed his G1 in the Doomben Cup.

Master Cups trainer Bart Cummings is looking for his 13th Melbourne Cup winner this year and will have the Cups bound Illo (Tertullian) and Sanagas (Lomitas) in the race.

The Underwood Stakes will be the first Australian start for the John Sadler trained Winchester (Theatrical).  Bred and raced in America, the seven-year-old is a top performer having won four Group 1 races there.  Sadler has indicated he will need Saturday’s run after 10 months away from the track.

Cups bound Drunken Sailor (Tendulkar) has not raced since the G1 Sydney Cup in April but boasts a good fresh up record of seven starts for two wins and three placings.  The Michael Moroney trained gelding has won over 1800 metres and ran third over the distance at his first start last preparation at Caulfield.

The four races in the Caulfield Spring WFA Championship offer $1.24 million in stakes and the ultimate winner of the Championship will receive trophies to the value of $25,000.

The points table and race schedule for NZ Bloodstock’s Caulfield Spring WFA Championship can be viewed here.