Trainer Murray Baker has revealed that leading Cox Plate contender It’s A Dundeel could miss the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) next Saturday after bursting a foot abscess.
The leading New Zealand trainer told TVN that It’s A Dundeel had what was basically a crack in the sole of his front foot that will need to heal quickly f the three-year-old Triple Crown winner is any chance of running in the $400,000 Group 1 event at Caulfield next weekend.
“It’s 50/50 whether he’ll run,” Baker said.
“We have to get it to harden up; it’s annoying it couldn’t have happened at a worse time.”
Stable worker Emily Murphy, who is looking after It’s A Dundeel while Baker is in New Zealand, first noticed the foot abscess on Thursday but Baker said that a gallop at Flemington this morning caused the abscess to burst.
“He’s got a crack, a blow-up in the hoof; it blew out this morning,” Baker said.
“There must have been something there and the stress of the gallop blew it out.
“He’ll be all right, it’s just how quickly it heals.”
It’s A Dundeel was backed into favoritism for the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) after he upset glamour mare Atlantic Jewel in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on September 21 but Atlantic Jewel ($3) is back on top of the betting market, while It’s A Dundeel has drifted out to $3.60.
The Caulfield Stakes is set to be a star-studded race; with It’s A Dundeel, Atlantic Jewel, 2012 Melbourne Cup winner Green Moon and Chris Waller-trained Foreteller all a chance to contest the event.
The Caulfield Stakes has been the key lead-up race to the Cox Plate; with Strawberry Road (1983), Bonecrusher (1986), Rubiton (1987), Our Poetic Prince (1988), Almaarad (1989), The Phantom Chance (1993), Might And Power (1998), Northerly (2001), Fields Of Omagh (2006), So You Think (2010) and Ocean Park (2012) all running in the race before going on to win the Cox Plate.