It is amazing what winning one race can do to a horse’s odds.
Homesman won the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800 m) at Caulfield and in the bargain shortened from $17 into $7 for the Caulfield Cup, while simultaneously shortening from $26 into $13 for the Melbourne Cup.
Homesman is a U.S. A. horse, sired by War Front from My Annette. Homesman’s lines are strictly U.S.A. for three generations before some Canadian heritage makes an appearance in the form of Nearctic and Christmas Wind form Canada and Petitioner from Great Britain.
The horse first appeared in Australia at Caulfield in February of 2018, where he beat 2016 Melbourne Cup winner Almandin in the Listed Victoria Cup (2000 m). He was tried over that same distance in the Group 1 Australian Cup at Flemington, but he proved no match for five that crossed ahead of him, including the aforementioned Almandin.
That sixth place finish was improved in early September, when Homesman was at The Valley for the Group 2 Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600 m), where he finished second to Magic Consol and ahead of New Zealand’s Night’s Watch.
Of the nine horses in the Underwood Stakes, Homesman went off tied second favourite at $5 with Blair House. Grunt jumped as the favourite at $3.40.
Another example of the complexity in betting on Thoroughbred flats races was supplied by Underwood Stakes second placer Tosen Basil, whose $71 starting price was the longest in the field by a considerable margin.
It was a strong, if older field that included Group 1 winners such as Humidor, Black Hear Bart, last year’s Underwood winner Bonneval and Comin’ Through.
The 2010 Melbourne Cup winner American was a U.S. bred horse trained in France. Media Puzzle was the winner in the Melbourne Cup of 2002. He was by an Irish sire. Kingston Rule won in 1990, but was not match for Better Loosen Up and Vo Rogue in the Blamey Stakes.
Those same two, with the order reversed, beat Kingston Rule earlier in 1990 at Flemington in the Australian Cup.
If Homesman can win the Caulfield Cup, he will be under the microscope of scrutiny that accompanies a potential Cups double.