IT’S A DUNDEEL
Sire: High Chaparral
Age/Colour/Sex: 4Yo Bay Stallion
Trainer: Murray Baker
Put the form guide away punters. Fillies Form have already found the Cox Plate winner for you and It’s a Dundeel!!
The colt from across the ditch impressed us in the Autumn and we are sure he is set to do the same this Spring.
Trained and bred by Murray Baker in New Zealand, It’s A Dundeel (IAD) was a mega star of the Autumn Carnival in Sydney earlier this year.
He completed a rare three-year-old treble in winning the Randwick Guineas, Rosehill Guineas and was absolutely smashed his rivals in winning the Australian Derby by a massive 6 lengths!
Despite this remarkable effort, trainer Murray Baker went to the well one more time when he backed him up in the Queen Elizabeth where her ran a gallant 2nd to the ill fated Reliable Man.
He had come to the end of his preparation and went back to his homeland for a well deserved break.
The big question was, would IAD return as dominant in the Spring? and would he be a force in the Cox Plate?
The first step in answering these questions was taken when he returned in the Group 1 Memsie stakes where he failed to obtain a clear run and finished a gallant 4th to the unbeaten Atlantic Jewel. Despite the defeat, Baker would sound an ominous warning when he said “He’s a better horse when he can get room and wind up.”
It wouldn’t take long for Murray’s prediction to come true with Dundeel stalking Atlantic Jewel in the Underwood and finally wearing her down in what would be an epic clash. The run by IAD was one of guts and determination, while the ride by James McDonald was faultless. James knows the horse inside out as he has been with the Team IAD from the beginning “When you’re in a team with Murray Baker, you get a lot of confidence, and he is happy with him at the moment.”
Now the attention turn’s to the Grand Final, the Group 1 Cox Plate to be run on Saturday. Despite favourite Atlantic Jewel being scratched, it will be no easy feat for IAD as he tackles seasoned Group performers such as Fiorente, Pluissance De Lune, Green Moon and the new kid on the block, Caulfield Guinea’s winner Long John.
The task ahead is great, but confidence is building in the IAD camp after the slight hiccup of a foot abscess which led to him missing a key leadup in the Caulfield Stakes. Despite the interruption, McDonald seems undeterred “He’s looking better than he did when he beat Atlantic Jewel in the Underwood. He’s dappled up and he wasn’t like that when he beat her. It is the most confident I have been going into a big race”.
We at Fillies Form share his confidence and believe that come Saturday, the Cox Plate will be a Dundeel.
Images courtesy of: Racing Photos Australia