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Underestimation a future star

By Robert Windmill AAP Friday, March 16, 2012 - 8:26 PM

Trainer Dean Lawson and the owners of Underestimation are looking ahead to the spring in anticipation the two-year-old will be a Caulfield Guineas candidate.

The promising youngster was unplaced at his first two starts but his win in Friday's night's Listed St Albans Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley came as no surprise to his connections.

Ridden aggressively by Steven Arnold, Underestimation started at $26 and led all the way to score by 3-1/4 lengths.

His stablemate Tennessee Wills just missed second place when edged out by the fast-finishing How Swede It Is.

Wayne Harris and Scott Cameron and their families race Underestimation as well as stablemate Mr Chard who is being aimed at the Cox Plate in the spring after he came back from injury and finished 12th to Hay List in the Newmarket Handicap (1200m) on March 10.

Lawson said Mr Chard almost certainly wouldn't have another run before spring and he is keen for Underestimation to follow him to the paddock.

"We've always known he (Underestimation) was a good horse," Lawson said.

"I said from the day he walked in to the place he's a Caulfield Guineas horse.

"You look at him now and he's big and has still got to fill out and doesn't know exactly what he's doing.

"He takes a mammoth stride and it is all about the spring for him."

Such was Lawson's opinion of Underestimation that his first run was in the Group Three Maribyrnong Plate at Flemington during Melbourne Cup week and he dead-heated for fifth in the 16-horse field.

He resumed at Flemington with a seventh in the Listed Streets Ice Cream Stakes but was never out of trouble with a horse running under his neck and another pushing out wide in the home straight.

"He was nowhere near mature enough for the Maribyrnong Plate and he did it all on raw ability and after the trouble last start we planned to be a more positive today," Lawson said.

"Steve worked it out well jumping him to the front and he won like we knew he could."

A $52,500 as yearling, Underestimation is by Al Samer, the sire of Mr Chard.

Lawson said Mr Chard pulled up well after the Newmarket and believes he has the class to take on the best in the spring.

"He ran enormous in the Newmarket when he was beaten only five lengths and he has come through the run well.

It was his first run since he finished fourth to Shamrocker in the 2010 Australian Guineas (1600m) and Lawson said the Cox Plate was a realistic goal given that Pinker Pinker won the race last year.

"Six months earlier you wouldn't have said Pinker Pinker would win it and she did and he was good enough to run in it last year but broke down in the Australian Guineas," Lawson said.

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