Victoria Derby bound colt It’s a Dundeel (3c High Chaparral x Stareel, by Zabeel) maintained his unbeaten record when charging home late to snatch a narrow victory at Canterbury on Wednesday against the older horses to make it three wins in as many starts.
The Murray Baker trained son of High Chaparral looked a potential spring star when making his Australian debut with a strong finishing win at Wyong over 1350 metres last month and was sent out a heavily backed favourite in the Benchmark 70 event over 1580 metres.
Ridden a patient race by James McDonald, It’s a Dundeel settled near the back of the field before looming into contention on the turn under hard riding.
He took a while to wind up, but when he hit top gear It’s a Dundeel surged hard to the line to claim a nose verdict.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing him on a bigger track with a long straight,” said Bjorn Baker representing his father Murray.
“He’s definitely looking for further now.”
Winning rider James McDonald has ridden It’s a Dundeel in each of his starts to date and will be keen to stick with him in his longer spring targets such as the Group I ATC Spring Champion Stakes and VRC Victoria Derby.
“He took a while to get going,” McDonald said.
“That first up win took a bit of the speed out of him, but he got there in the end.”
Not offered at auction and raced by a large syndicate of owners, 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.
High Chaparral stands at Coolmore this spring at a fee of $77,000.