This Friday Murray Baker’s Group 1 Kiwi youngster It’s A Dundeel will begin serious preparations to return in the autumn for an Australian Derby 2013 campaign in Sydney when they take on crack colt Pierro in a Warwick Farm barrier trial.
The High Chaparral colt has had six of their seven career starts in Australia after being bought over for the spring last prep which saw them produce an elite level win in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Randwick, one of their four straight wins in Sydney, in October.
Last seen running a below par seventh when failing to handle the extra distance of the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington in early November as the beaten favourite, It’s A Dundeel will target another three-year-old major down under this season.
They will be nominated for the $1.5 million Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick on April 13, their first step towards that goal being in Friday morning’s hitout.
Kicking off the morning’s trials the 1200m open event has drawn eight starters led by the Gai Waterhouse-trained Golden Slipper winner Pierro as well as Chris Waller’s Geelong Cup winning import Gatewood.
Lonhro colt Pierro is already a triple Group 1 winner and was also competitive in Melbourne during the spring when second to All Too Hard, who resumed last Saturday winning the CF Orr Stakes at Caulfield, and third behind Ocean Park and All Too Hard in the Cox Plate.
They are on track for another big prep this time in, their grand final goal being the $2 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) at RAndwick on April 20 for which they are currently the joint $7 favourite for with All Too Hard in the online futures odds.
Pierro will also have the fitness edge on Friday having already won a Rosehill trial over 1030m last week by an easy three lengths with Mark Newham in the saddle replacing Nash Rawiller who is out with a broken ankle.
As for the former John Gosden-trained English import Gatewood Waller will run them where he sees fit and won’t necessarily keep them to a strictly staying campaign.
“From what I’ve seen he is in between a handicapper and a weight-for-age horse and we need to be careful where we place him because we want to get his confidence up,” Waller said.
“We will target the decent races with him and will also be mindful of preserving his value because he is still an entire.”
One of their likely autumn aims will be the $2.25 million Group 1 The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill on April 6, the Galileo stallion currently rated a $13 chance in the futures The BMW odds which are led by Glencadam Gold ($7).
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