It’s A Dundeel: Derby Hope Wins Again

He may have been racing under a different name but the result was the same for New Zealand colt It’s A Dundeel in his second Australian start today.

The three-year-old formerly known as Dundeel backed up his eye-catching win at Wyong late last month to claim a narrow victory in the Australian Turf Club Handicap (1580m) at Canterbury.

New Zealand jockey James McDonald kept the Murray Baker-trained horse in second last position for much of the race before allowing him to accelerate as the field passed the home turn.

The son of High Chaparral appeared unsuited to the tight-turning track at Canterbury but did enough to edge out Double Halo and The Shooter in a photo finish.

It’s A Dundeel is currently being looked after by Baker’s Warwick Farm-based son Bjorn who said he was looking forward to seeing him step up in distance.

“I’m very much looking forward to getting him into a big straight,” Bjorn Baker told TVN.

“It was a good effort…he’s definitely looking for further I think.”

The emerging stayer will get his first test at a longer trip in the Group 3 Gloaming Stakes (1800m) at Randwick on September 22.

If all goes to plan he will then step up to the top tier in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) on October 6 before potentially being given the opportunity follow in the footsteps of the Baker-trained Lion Tamer who won the Victoria Derby in 2010.

The now Sydney-based McDonald has partnered It’s A Dundeel in all three of his career starts and praised his ability to fight on for victory today.

“Probably that first-up run took the speed out of him a bit, he was flat a long way from home but he dug deep and got the victory,” McDonald said.

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