Murray Baker’s promising young Kiwi raider It’s A Dundeel may have had a name change but their form is as good as ever with the Victoria Derby 2012 bound three-year-old winning their latest start at Canterbury on Wednesday.
Formerly known as simply Dundeel, the High Chaparral colt remains undefeated in their three career starts to date after hanging on in a devastatingly close finish to defeat Double Halo by a mere short half-head in the $35,000 Australian Turf Club Benchmark 70 over 1580m at the mid-week Canterbury meet.
Ridden for the third time by ace New Zealand jockey James McDonald, It’s A Dundeel came off a similarly close victory over 1350m at Wyong on August 22 which was their maiden run on Aussie soil.
“He took a while to get going and there was a good tempo throughout the race and he was able to get home over the top of them,” McDonald said of the Canterburywin.
“That first up run probably took the speed out of him a bit and he was flat a long way from home and he has dug deep got the victory.”
The boom youngster, who is firmly on track for a shot at the $1.5 million Group 1 AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington Racecourse on Saturday November 3 during the four-day Melbourne Cup Carnival, debuted in their native NZ with a win over 1200m at Ellerslie back in April and hasn’t put a foot wrong since.
“We are very much looking forward to getting him over further and on a big straight and it was a very good effort from him today,” Bjorn Baker, Murray’s father and co-trainer who has the horse stabled with him in Sydney, said on Wednesday.
“He was under heavy riding for a long way and he is definitely looking for further.”
Leading up to the Victoria Derby, which Baker won last year with the ill-fated Lion Tamer, It’s A Dundeel could also contest a Group 1 feature during the Sydney Spring Racing Carnival having been nominated for the $400,000 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) to run at Royal Randwick on Epsom Handicap Day, October 6, 2012.
They will most likely go to the Spring Champion Stakes via the $200,000 Group 3 Gloaming Stakes (1800m) held atRandwickon September 22.
In futures Spring Champion Stakes 2012 betting at bookmakers around Australia It’s A Dundeel occupies the third line of betting at $9 along with the Anthony Cummings-trained duo of Your Song and Ninth Legion who will first contest the $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) atRosehillGardens on Saturday week.
Victoria Derby 2012 nominations meanwhile are due for release on September 25 with Races.com.au to publish the full list of early entries.
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