Unsurprisingly Murray Baker’s undefeated New Zealand galloper It’s A Dundeel has opened as the odds-on favourite for this Saturday’s 2012 Moonee Valley Vase, the Victoria Derby-bound youngster set to jump at the shortest odds on the Cox Plate Day card.
Last seen putting their neck down on the line to defeat hot favourite Proisir, who runs as a single-figure chance in Saturday’s 2012 Cox Plate, in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Randwick, the High Chaparral colt will shoot for their sixth consecutive career win in the $220,000 Group 2 Mitchelton Wines Vase (2040m).
Despite it being their first run in Melbourne they are the rank horse in the small seven horse field and are paying $1.20 in the MV Vase odds at bookmaker.com.au to win.
While Baker, who won the 2010 Victoria Derby with the ill-fated Lion Tamer who also came via the Vase having run second to Rekindled Interest before their 6.5 length romp in the Group 1, agonised over whether to back It’s A Dundeel up on Saturday, he’s ultimately happy with the decision to run them.
“There were a few factors, but better to be on the safe side than the sorry side,” Baker said speaking about giving the horse a final tune-up for the $1.5 million Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington on November 3.
“I was a bit worried about the month between runs, but mainly it was that he’s never raced left-handed and I was keen to get a left-handed run into him before the Derby.
“I guess he is expected to win, but that’s when you end up with egg on your face.”
The only other three-year-old under $10 in the Moonee Valley Vase betting markets is then Mark Kavanagh’s progressive Fastnet Rock gelding Super Cool paying $6.50 who was last seen running a close second over the Caulfield mile on Thousand Guineas Day.
Other longer priced hopefuls out to score a boil over result in the fifth on Saturday then include Adelaide raider Viking Star ($12) coming off a devastatingly close second in the Listed Hill Smith Stakes at Morphettville over 1800m, Kavanagh’s other runner If I Could ($19) and Hill Smith third placegetter Nisos ($21).
The David Hayes-trained Prisoner Of War ($61), fourth in the Hill Smith last time out, and Marwina colt Bullion Express ($101) drawn in gates one and two respectively then round out the Moonee Valley Vase field and markets.
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2012 Mitchelton Wines Vase Odds
Moonee Valley Race 5 – 3:20pm (AEST) – 27/10/2012
|1||IT’S A DUNDEEL (5)||1.20|
|2||VIKING STAR (7)||12.00|
|3||IF I COULD (6)||19.00|
|4||SUPER COOL (4)||6.50|
|5||BULLION EXPRESS (2)||101.00|
|6||PRISONER OF WAR (1)||61.00|
*Fixed Win Odds provided by bookmaker.com.au and subject to change