New Zealand colt It’s A Dundeel will return to Australia for the 2013 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival where he will be aimed at the Group 1 2013 Australian Derby (2400m).
The Murray Baker-trained three-year-old has been in work for three weeks in New Zealand and will travel to Australia in February before kicking off his campaign in early March.
Baker has pencilled in the Group 2 2013 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Warwick Farm on March 2 as a possible kickoff point for the son of High Chapparral before contesting the big three-year-old Group 1 events.
Baker told Sky Sports Radio the 2013 Randwick Guineas, 2013 Rosehill Guineas and of course the Derby are all in the sights of the small but tough galloper.
“The plan is to get him over there [Australia] and get him into the groove,” Baker said.
“If he was to stay in New Zealand, the only race for him would be the weight for age race at Otaki over the mile on the 23rd of February and Ocean Park is running in it I believe.”
It’s A Dundeel has won five of seven starts and collected $475,000 in prizemoney as a result of an outstanding spring campaign.
He arrived in Australia in August on the back of a debut win in New Zealand and proceeded to win his first four starts on Australian soil including the Group 3 Gloaming Stakes and the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes and Randwick.
He then travelled to Melbourne where his unbeaten run ended when second in the Group 2 Mitchelton Wines Vase before storming home from a long way back to finish seventh in the Victoria Derby.
Baker admits the son of High Chaparral may have to be ridden more positively in the future if he is to be competitive at the top level.
“I think we might have to ride him a bit closer,” Baker said.
“It’s been his pattern dropping out a bit but we were fortunate in Sydney there was plenty of speed on in all four of his races and it did help him.”
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