It looked a ‘done deal’ on paper and so it was on the track with exciting colt It’s a Dundeel (3c High Chaparral x Stareel, by Zabeel) making a one act affair of the Group I ATC Australian Derby at Randwick on Saturday.
The Murray Baker trained three year-old has been in breathtaking form this preparation with explosive wins in the Group I ATC Randwick Guineas and Rosehill Guineas laying the groundwork for his crack at the Blue Riband.
Superbly ridden by James McDonald, who has partnered him in every start, It’s a Dundeel settled back in the field and zoomed to the line to win the 2400 metre classic by six lengths over smart colt Philippi.
“We saw he was spot on, it was much the same form as the Rosehill Guineas,” said Murray Baker.
“He’s got that great acceleration, he seems to just pick them up easily. He’s a pretty relaxed horse, we were very happy with him today.”
It’s a Dundeel now has the imposing record of eight wins and a second from11 starts with prizemoney of $2million and may run in the Group I ATC Queen Elizabeth Stakes against the older horses before going for a spell.
“We’ve got it [Queen Elizabeth] in the back of our minds, but we won’t make any decisions until the middle of next week,” Baker added.
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, a daughter of Group I New Zealand Oaks winner Staring.
It’s a Dundeel joins Shoot Out in becoming the second Australian Derby winner for outstanding sire High Chaparral , who also had the third place-getter in Kingdoms (3c High Chaparral x A Real Princess, by O’Reilly).