Red hot Victoria Derby favourite It’s A Dundeel is the top-rated early entry in the Moonee Valley Vase 2012 nominations for the Cox Plate Day feature at Moonee Valley this Saturday, connections 90% sure the Murray Baker-trained colt will run.
The son of High Chaparral is nearing odds-on territory at $2.15 in the bookmaker.com.au futures for the $1.5 million Group 1 AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington during next month’s Melbourne Cup Carnival with the star Kiwi raider undefeated over their five start career to date.
It is looking likely that It’s A Dundeel will look to extend their flawless record to six straight on Saturday in the $220,000 Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase (2040m), registered this year as the Mitchelton Wines Vase and formerly known as the AAMI Vase.
One of 15 Moonee Valley Vase nominations for 2012, It’s A Dundeel was last seen scoring their maiden Group 1 victory in the Spring Champion Stakes over 2000m at Randwick.
Should they accept for Saturday’s clash they would be racing in Melbourne for the first time, a handy thing as they head towards the Derby on November 3.
A decision on whether or not It’s A Dundeel runs in the Vase will be made after they work at Moonee Valley for Tuesday morning’s Breakfast With The Stars.
“He probably will run. He’s going to Breakfast with the Best on Tuesday and a decision will be made after that,” Murray’s son and fellow trainer Bjorn Baker said.
“At this stage there is a leaning towards running.
“That’s the same path Lion Tamer took. Hopefully it can work a second time.”
The ill-fated Lion Tamer was co-trained by the Bakers and ran second in the Vase behind Rekindled Interest before their huge six and a half length victory as a $12 shot in the Victoria Derby back in 2010.
While the majority of the other MV Vase nominees are also still in Victoria Derby contention, the only one under $30 in the Victoria Derby odds is the Mark Kavanagh-trained Super Cool.
Last seen running second over the Caulfield mile on Thousand Guineas Day the Fastent Rock gelding sees Moonee Valley for the first time but has previous stakes experience having run a close fourth to Pronto Pronto in the Listed Vintage Stakes (1410m) at the start of the month.
Kavanagh has also nominated for his Iffraaj colt If I Could who comes off a close fifth in the Listed Hill Smith Stakes (1800m) in Adelaide.
Other notable hopefuls include the consistent South Australian raider Viking Star who ran second in the Hill Smith Stakes, Danas Best who is also accepted for the Geelong Classic on Wednesday, fellow last start winner and Geelong Classic hope Correggio, and Michael Moroney’s Zabeel filly La Zuma coming off a 13th in the Thousand Guineas.
The 2012 Mitchelton Wines Vase final field will be released on Wednesday along with the other Cox Plate Day features.
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2012 Moonee Valley Vase Nominations
Moonee Valley Racecourse – 27/10/2012
|2||BULLION EXPRESS||Dean Binaisse||60|
|3||CORREGGIO (NZ)||Peter G Moody||62|
|4||DANAS BEST||Lee Freedman & Graeme Rogerson||65|
|6||IF I COULD (NZ)||Mark Kavanagh||64|
|7||IT’S A DUNDEEL (NZ)||Murray Baker||–|
|8||LA ZUMA||Michael Moroney||62|
|9||MALABAR MAN||Michael Kent||58|
|11||MY DANCING DUEL (NZ)||Michael Moroney||–|
|13||PRISONER OF WAR||David Hayes||–|
|14||SUPER COOL||Mark Kavanagh||67|
|15||VIKING STAR||Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas||74|