Bonneval added another Group 1 win to her outstanding resume with a terrific win in the 2017 Underwood Stakes at Caulfield this afternoon.
It was a highly competitive edition of the Underwood Stakes and there were a host of potential winning hopes at the 200 metre mark, but Bonneval proved to be the superior stayer and she finished over the top of Gailo Chop to claim an impressive victory.
Jockey Hugh Bowman said that the hot early tempo in the Underwood Stakes played into the hands of Bonneval and he believes that the Australian Oaks winner will be a genuine contender in both the Caulfield Cup and the Melbourne Cup.
“They really poured the pressure on a long way out and that suited me,” Bowman said.
“I was hoping for a bit of a test – she was a dominant winner in the Oaks and she returned in good form two weeks ago.
“She is a genuine Cups contender – I just wish I was light enough to ride her.
“To win another Group 1 for Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman means a great deal.
“She is a mare with a big future and let’s hope we will hear about her for the next couple of weeks.
Trainer Murray Baker admitted after the race that he was unsure how Bonneval would perform in the Underwood Stakes and he was clearly delighted to have won the Underwood Stakes for the fourth time.
Baker confirmed that the Caulfield Cup remains the major 2017 Spring Racing Carnival target for Bonneval and she will likely have her next race start in the Ladbrokes Stakes at Caulfield on October 14.
“We didn’t know what to expect from her today – she was second-up and she still has that winter coat to lose,” Baker said.
“We thought that she had improved a bit from last start.
“She is a very good filly and it is her sixth Group 1 win in a row.
“She is in the Caulfield Cup and we will give her one more race – possibly in the Ladbrokes Stakes.”
Hartnell found the line strongly to finish the Underwood Stakes in second, while Gailo Chop rounded out the placings in third.