The 2014 Underwood Stakes has been won by Foreteller, who gave trainer Chris Waller his second Group 1 victory in the space of 15 minutes at Caulfield this afternoon.
There was not expected to be a great deal of early speed in the Underwood Stakes, but jockey Michael Walker elected to press forward on Crackerjack King in the early stages of the race and made sure the race was run at a solid tempo.
Foreteller was ridden closer to the speed in the early stage of the race by jockey Glen Boss, but he was still able to show an impressive turn-of-foot to score a narrow win from Happy Trails and brave front-runner Crackerjack King.
Boss had not ridden a Group 1 winner since he took out the 2013 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) on Rebel Dane and he was delighted to return to winning form at the highest level of racing.
The leading hoop paid credit to trainer Chris Waller, who won the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) with Sacred Falls just before the running of the Underwood Stakes, and said that he was thrilled to be able to develop an association with Foreteller.
“It is just great to be a part of it and great to be a part of this horse,” Boss said.
“I have only been on him twice, but I really enjoy his charisma and he is a pretty groovy horse to ride.
“He put himself in a good spot today from the barrier and he just kept creeping into the race.
“He is a tricky horse, you need to keep the bit in his mouth as long as possible because you can nullify his sprint if you go too son on him.
“It just worked out great there.
“This is an important race here for the spring and an important race for me, it has been a long time in between drinks for me in Group 1’s.
“I am just thrilled to be given the opportunity by Chris to ride a quality individual like this.
“You just have to admire this horses courage.”
Foreteller had not recorded a race win since he took out the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington over a year ago and Justine Hales, Chris Waller’s foreman in Melbourne, was thrilled to see the veteran gelding return to the winners circle.
Hales admitted that she was concerned when Boss had Foreteller positioned so close to the speed, but was delighted that the Dansili gelding was still able to finish off strongly and she confirmed that the seven-year-old would have another crack at the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m).
“It is lovely to see this horse win again,” Hales said.
“He always tries and he is very honest.
“I was a little bit worried today because he was handier than usual and I was hoping that he could sprint.
“I think it was good that the other horse came back a bit and he caught Happy Trails on the outside of his eye and he kept trying.”