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New Zealand colt It’s A Dundeel has been confirmed as a starter for Saturday’s Group 2 2013 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) which will be the kickoff point for a campaign geared towards the Group 1 2013 Australian Derby (2400m) in April.
The small but tough stayer is more suited over a longer trip but still tasted success over 1200m and 1350m last year.
The galloper formerly known as Dundeel had an outstanding spring campaign in Australia, winning four of six starts.
Highlight victories came in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes and the Group 3 Gloaming Stakes and he also finished second in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase.
But Saturday’s test is about as tough as they come first-up, with the field set to contain Gai Waterhouse-trained pair Pierro and Proisir as well as Gary Portelli’s unbeaten colt Rebel Dane.
Warwick Farm trainer Bjorn Baker is overseeing the three-year-old’s preparation on behalf of father Murray and admits Saturday’s $200,000 race is a difficult challenge.
“It’s a massive ask on Saturday,” Baker said.
Despite the difficulty of this weekend’s hit-out, Baker is confident It’s A Dundeel goes into the race in good order and takes confidence out of a strong trial performance on February 15.
“His trial was good, very good,” he said.
James McDonald has ridden the son of High Chaparral in all seven career starts to date and has been confirmed as the jockey for his entire autumn campaign.
Baker said they haven’t ruled out the possibility of taking on the older horses and chasing the riches in the Group 1 2013 The BMW (2400m) which will take place at Rosehill on April 6.
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