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Lion Tamer Wins Gr1 Underwood Stakes
On the Australian track, triple Gr1-winning stallion & former NZ Stoney Bridge shuttler Storming Home (Machiavellian-Try To Catch Me, by Shareef Dancer) added a Gr1 triumph when 4YO entire Lion Tamer (Storming Home-Lioness, by Generous) scored a 1.25-lengths victory in the $350,000 weight-for-age Gr1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield in Melbourne. Lion Tamer (ridden by Michael Rodd for trainer Murray Baker) defeated 4YO mare Southern Speed (Southern Image-Golden Eagle, by Zabeel) & 5YO entire Midas Touch (Galileo-Approach, by Darshaan). Lion Tamer took his record to 6 wins (also including 2010’s Gr1 Victoria Derby over 2500m at Flemington, Listed Ming Dynasty Quality Handicap over 1400m at Randwick & NZ Listed Champagne Stakes over 1600m at Ellerslie, plus 2009's NZ Listed Murdoch Newell Stakes over 1100m at Pukekohe) & 2 placings (in 2010’s Gr2 AAMI Vase over 2040m at Mooney Valley & 2009's NZ Listed Weetwood Grange Stakes over 1100m at Te Rapa) from 13 starts for $1,299,143 earnings. (Click on the link for full race details from Group Race Results at AAP Racing.) Meanwhile trainer Murray Baker is hoping Lion Tamer can go one better than former stable star The Phantom who won the 1990 Underwood Stakes before finishing 2nd in the Gr1 Melbourne Cup. Lion Tamer is now equal-favourite for the Melbourne Cup (3200m) with the Mark Kavanagh-trained imported Irish galloper December Draw, who won the Gr3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) just 40 minutes later on the same card at Caulfield (see report below).