Underwood Stakes, George Main Stakes, AFL & NRL Finals

September 18th, 2014

Spring is easily the best time of year for punting and with the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival well underway as well as the NRL and AFL Finals, there are plenty of opportunities to back a winner this weekend!

Horse Racing

Silent Achiever

Silent Achiever is the early favourite to win the Group 1 Underwood Stakes at Caulfield. Photo (c) Steve Hart

There are horse racing meetings right around the country on Saturday, but the feature events are taking place at Caulfield in Melbourne and Royal Randwick in Sydney.

The Caulfield card is headlined by the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m), which is always a key lead-up race for major events like the Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup.

The 2014 Underwood Stakes has not drawn as strong a field as it did last year, with the 2013 edition of the event dubbed the race of the millennium, but there are still plenty of talented gallopers set to contest the Group 1 event.

Talented mare Silent Achiever is set to start the Underwood Stakes as favourite, but the likes of Chris Waller-trained Foreteller, imported galloper Stipulate, Melbourne Cup favourite The Offer and popular gelding Happy Trails could all win the $400,000 race.

The Caulfield meeting also features the running of the Naturalism Stakes, which offers the winner direct entry into the Caulfield Cup, as well as the return of star mare Samaready in the How Now Stakes.

The Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) is the main event at Royal Randwick in Sydney this weekend and it is an extremely interesting betting race.

Talented three-year-old Panzer Division will be having just his fourth race start, but has been the best backed runner in George Main Stakes betting markets, while the Chris Waller-trained trio of Royal Descent, Sacred Falls and Hawkspur as well as Tramway Stakes winner Lucia Valentina are all winning chances this weekend.

Champion filly Earthquake will have the chance to return to winning form when she takes on Winx in the Tea Rose Stakes, while strong fields have been assembled for The Shorts, Hill Stakes and Heritage Stakes.

AFL Finals

It is the penultimate weekend of the 2014 AFL season and four teams remain in the hunt for Premiership glory.

The Sydney Swans ($1.22) have long been favourites to win the AFL Premiership and they are at a short price to qualify for their second Grand Final in three years by beating North Melbourne ($4.50) at ANZ Stadium on Friday night.

Port Adelaide ($3.20) recorded an upset victory over Fremantle last weekend and they will go into their clash with Hawthorn ($1.37) at the MCG on Saturday full of confidence, but the Hawks are clear favourites to keep alive their chances of winning back-to-back flags.

NRL Finals

South Sydney Rabbitohs and Penrith Panthers have already secured their place in the NRL Preliminary Finals, but North Queensland Cowboys, Sydney Roosters, Manly Sea Eagles and Canterbury Bulldogs must win this weekend to stay in the hunt for the 2014 NRL Premiership.

North Queensland ($2.70) have been in excellent form of late and have an outstanding record against the Roosters ($1.48) in recent years, but the defending premiers have been well backed to set up a blockbuster Preliminary Final clash with South Sydney.

Canterbury ($1.62) struggled into the finals, but they returned to their best form with an outstanding victory over the Melbourne Storm last weekend, while the internal drama at Manly ($2.32) finally seems to be catching up with the side and they are the underdogs to progress to the Preliminary Finals.

Other Sports

The English Premier League Season continues this weekend and there are a number of key matches set to take place in the early hours on Sunday morning, while Week 3 of the 2014 NFL season features a plenty of betting opportunities.

Bet with your mates in your own punters club!