ATC Derby winner It’s A Dundeel will still be set for the rich Sydney Autumn Carnival following Arrowfield Stud gaining a controlling interest with a reported $10 million deal.
Arrowfield Stud, headed by John Messara, bought into It’s A Dundeel in September, securing thirty per cent and took up the option yesterday to acquire more shares to become the major stakeholder in the five times Group 1 winner.
New Zealand trainer Murray Baker will continue to train It’s A Dundeel and will prepare the High Chaparral stallion for Sydney and take advantage of the increased prizemoney for the revamped Autumn Carnival incorporating The Championships and a possible trip to England.
“We are concentrating on Sydney next autumn, the horse is not going to Melbourne,” Baker told The Daily Telegraph.
“The prizemoney in Sydney is too good to ignore, it is exceptional. If you have a horse with ability you have to aim for Sydney in the autumn.
“The trainers in New Zealand look back over the ditch at you guys with envy – we might have the All Blacks but you have the stakes money.”
It’s A Dundeel had a mixed Melbourne Spring Carnival and after downing super mare Atlantic Jewel in the Group 1 $400,000 Hyland Race Colours Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on September 21 sustained a hoof injury that interrupted his Cox Plate preparation.
The Kiwi super star recovered and was passed fit to start in the Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 26 but struggled into eighth spot behind Shamus Award after being caught three wide for most of the trip.
Baker then sent the four year old straight to the paddock and has reported that he is nearly ready to return to work to prepare for his Autumn campaign before he begins stud duties at Arrowfield Stud in the Hunter Valley in the Spring.
“The horse has had a good rest at the ‘Cambridge Hilton’ and looks super,” Baker said.
“I’ll bring him back in next week and then start to get him ready for Sydney.”
Baker is also considering a trip to England to run in the Group 1 £500,000 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes (1 mile, 2 furlongs) at Royal Ascot in June if his form warrants it.
The Cambridge trainer has mapped out a weight for age program with It‘s A Dundeel to kick off his Autumn in the Group 1 $500,000 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm on March 8 followed by the Group 1 $500,000 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on March 22.
The Group 1 $2.25m The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill on April 5 is next on the agenda before It’s A Dundeel rounds off the Carnival in the Group 1 $4m Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 19.