Unbeaten colt It’s A Dundeel (3c High Chaparral x Stareel, by Zabeel) maintained his flawless record when overpowering another previously unbeaten colt in Proisir (3c Choisir x Prophet Jewel, by Encosta de Lago) to win the Group I ATC Spring Champion Stakes at Randwick on Saturday.
The Murray Baker trained It’s a Dundeel was ridden a perfect race by James McDonald, settling back in the field and powering home to win the 2000 metre test by a short neck over Proisir with Honorius (3c Holy Roman Emperor x Zarinia, by Intikhab) in third place to give Coolmore sires a trifecta in the Group I event.
McDonald made a winning move inside the 600 metres when he worked up around Proisir to sit on the favourite’s outside.
“They went quick early but then slowed up, hence why I made the move around (Proisir),” McDonald said.
McDonald momentarily pocketed Proisir before Nash Rawiller found a gap on the Gai Waterhouse traiend colt, which sprinted best and booted clear at the 250 metre mark, but It’s A Dundeel knuckled down and charged past Proisir with 50 metres to go.
“I got worried when he was back there but he just outstayed them,” Murray Baker said. “I thought he had improved a bit (from his last run). I thought he’d be pretty hard to beat today.”
It’s A Dundeel has now firmed from $4.60 into $3.20 favouritism with Sportingbet for the Group I VRC Victoria Derby at Flemington on November 3.
“He’s going the right way for the Derby. We’ve knocked off the hotshot and it’s a bloody good feeling,” Baker added.
“He’s got that will to win, knows where that winning post is.”
The second winner of the Group I ATC Spring Champion Stakes for High Chaparrral, following on from Monaco Consul, who scored 2009, It’s a Dundeel has won each of his five starts to date earning $411,305 in prizemoney.
Not offered at auction and raced by a large syndicate of owners, It’s a Dundeel is a half-brother to stakes-placed Twoeezy and is one of five winners from Zabeel mare Stareel, who is a daughter of Group I New Zealand Oaks winner Staring.
The eighth Group I winner for his sire, It’s a Dundeel is very true to the High Chaparral type and looks a great candidate to continue his sire’s great record with three year-olds following on from a season where he had none as a result of the EI outbreak in 2007.
High Chaparral stands at Coolmore this spring at a fee of $77,000.