Current 2013 Cox Plate betting favourite It’s A Dundeel is back in work after a late autumn spell, the star Murray Baker-trained colt preparing to come back for a shot at more elite level glory down under.
Based in New Zealand the rising four-year-old son of High Chaparral is the $4.20 top fancy in the pre-nomination markets for the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m), running at Moonee Valley Racecourse on October 26 this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival, and their return to racing will be eagerly awaited.
Having amassed over $2 million (AUS) in prize money over their 12 start career to date It’s A Dundeel boasts eight turf triumph, four of which were at elite level.
After debuting in their native NZ in April last year with a win at Ellerslie the progressive youngster came to Sydney and enjoyed winning their next four starts on the trot including the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Randwick.
That form earned them a trip to Melbourne chasing more glory but they were beaten at their two starts there when second to Super Cool in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase (2040m) and then seventh to the Anthony Cummings-trained Fiveandahalfstar in the season’s premier three-year-olds’ race, the $1.5 million Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington during the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
They were quick to bounce back during the autumn however improving on a first-up fourth to the now retired Pierro in the wet at Rosehill in the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) to win their next three on the trot completing the Sydney Autumn 3YO Triple Crown with victories in the Randwick Guineas, Rosehill Guineas and the Australian Derby.
Following their excellent ATC Derby triumph they jumped at short odds to win their fifth Group 1 trophy in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) but their winning streak came to an end when they were regulated to second behind the Chris Waller-trained import Reliable Man.
The bookies are taking zero chances for them in the spring majors this year however, especially in the Cox Plate, which co-trainer Andrew Forsman has confirmed as their major focus as they spend time working in his home stable.
“We have the Cox Plate as his main target and he will have three lead-up runs,” Forsman said.
“We are trying not to look too far ahead of ourselves but those are our main plans.”
Baker and Forsman are looking forward to a big spring not only with their stable ace but a number of their stablemates including Atlante and Orion who are tipped to travel over with It’s A Dundeel.
“Both have been ear-marked to travel over with Dundeel as the owners are keen to try Australia,” Forsman said.
Also in the mix for the training duo are Group 1 performing mares Zurella and Miss Artistic resting back home after Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival campaigns.
Zabeel mare Zurella was last seen bumming out when seventh in the Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2400m) last Saturday and is expected to come back to defend her title in the $220,000 Group 2 Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on September 7, last year’s edition of which was her last time in the winners’ stall.
From there if all goes to plan she will continue onto the $500,000 Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m) on Victoria Derby Day, November 1.
As for Miss Artistic retirement could be on the cards over a spring return for the 2012 NZ Oaks winner.
To get behind It’s A Dundeel in the early Cox Plate odds before prices firm over the coming months head over to our preferred online bookie bookmaker.com.au and bet with the best!