The question all the punters are asking ahead of the opening Melbourne Cup Carnival meeting this Saturday, November 3, is whether Murray Baker’s rank Kiwi It’s A Dundeel can bounce back and salute for the favourite backers in the Victoria Derby 2012.
Running as Flemington Race 6 at 3:00pm (AEST) this year’s $1.5 million Group 1 AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) looks a very even and open race with all of the exciting three-year-olds in the race having to step it up to the 2500m if they are going to take out the top prize.
A winner of their opening five career starts before going down as the odds-on favourite in the Moonee Valley Vase last Saturday, High Chaparral colt It’s A Dundeel has again been installed as the punters pick for this weekend.
In the latest Victoria Derby betting odds at bookmaker.com.au the Spring Champion Stakes champion pays $2.80 with the next best supported of the field installed at $7.
While favourites don’t exactly have a stellar record in the Victoria Derby there’s plenty of other good form to suggest It’s A Dundeel will emerge victorious on Saturday afternoon, and Baker is confident that despite facing their last-start conqueror Super Cool again they can turn the tables and win.
“He was beaten fair and square last start but he ran his last 600m in 34.9 seconds after being trapped five wide,” Baker said of It’s A Dundeel’s Vase loss.
“I’m sure he’s benefited from the run. It hardened and tightened him right up.
“He’s a bit like an English horse (because) he likes to race fresh but I’m pleased I did it.
“One thing about him is that he’s a genuine staying horse.”
So is Baker right? Or will It’s A Dundeel lose again in their spring grand final?
To help you answer these questions below are the pros and cons of backing the favourite in the Victoria Derby odds this year.
#1 It’s A Dundeel – Horse Form
- Jockey: James McDonald
- Trainer: Murray Baker
- Owners: Mr A I Craig, Mrs W A Craig, Mr M M Andersen, Mrs J P Andersen, Mr M J Craig, Mrs S S Craig, Mr D C Morison, Ms J E Morison, Mr G P Chaplow, Mrs T P Andersen, Mr M P Brown, Mrs J M Brown, Mr T J Joyce, Mrs J Joyce, Mr A M Muollo, Mrs G Muollo, Mr D Focas, Mrs A F Focas
- Age: 3YO
- Gender: Colt
- Breeding: by High Chaparral (IRE) out of Zabeel (NZ) mare Stareel (NZ)
- Career: 6-5-1-0
- Win: 83.33%
- Place: 100%
- Last 6: x11112
- Prize Money: $450,905
- Track: 0-0-0-0
- Distance: 0-0-0-0
- Current 2012 Victoria Derby Odds: $2.80
Yes – It’s A Dundeel Will Win the 2012 Victoria Derby
- Regular rider James McDonald stays on, has ridden them for all six of their starts to date and knows the horse and how to ride them
- Trainer Murray Baker knows what it takes to train a Victoria Derby winner having co-prepared 2010 champ Lion Tamer for their victory
- Baker has set It’s A Dundeel on the exact same lead-up path as Lion Tamer – a proven formula for success
- Lion Tamer was the third Victoria Derby winner on the trot prepared by a New Zealand horseman following the success of Sangster (Trent Busuttin, 2010) and Monaco Consul (Michael Moroney, 2009) – It’s A Dundeel is out to make it a Kiwi quartet
- Bred to get the distance being out of a Zabeel mare Stareel
- Proven Group 1 winner having taken out the Spring Champion Stakes two starts ago in Sydney
- Last year’s Victoria Derby winner Sangster came off a third in the Spring Champion Stakes
- Lion Tamer (2010) and Sangster (2011) also ran in the Gloaming Stakes before the Spring Champion and the Derby – It’s A Dundeel also this year’s Gloaming Stakes winner
- Easily boasts the highest Win Rate (83.33%) of this field and Place Percentage (100%)
- While over a longer period the Derby has been a bit of a graveyard for favourites, six have won in the past 20 years
- 7 of the 8 favourites to win since 1982 meanwhile all ran on Cox Plate Day seven days earlier as It’s A Dundeel did in the Vase
No – It’s A Dundeel Won’t be the Victoria Derby 2012 Winner
- Yet to race at the track or over the distance
- Faces the horse they couldn’t catch in the Vase with #4 Super Cool ($7) also in the Derby field
- While double-digit gates haven’t been a real hindrance, the last Victoria Derby winner to jump from gate 10 (where It’s A Dundeel is drawn) was Fire Oak (1990)
- Favourites don’t have the best Derby record with only eight having won since 1982; It’s A Dundeel is the top elect this year
Read enough to suggest that the Victoria Derby betting favourite can get the job done this year?
Or have another 3YO selected in your horse racing tips for Derby Day to take them down?