Trainer Murray Baker is very happy with the condition of It’s A Dundeel ahead of the 2014 Ranvet Stakes this weekend, but admits that the in-form Fiorente will be tough to beat in the Group 1 event.
Fiorente and It’s A Dundeel will be facing off for the third time, after previously meeting in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) and Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, and Fiorente will be taking a fitness edge into the Ranvet Stakes after recording impressive wins in both the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) and Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m).
Baker told Racing Ahead that It’s A Dundeel is fit enough to be competitive in the Ranvet Stakes and is expecting him to run a strong race, but acknowledges that there is plenty of talent in the field for the Group 1 event.
“I think that he is fit enough to make a race off it,” Baker said.
“Fiorente is rock hard fit, but Dundeel is as fit as we can make him.
“It is a very strong field and you are never confident in these races, but I am sure that he will run a good race.
“Silent Achiever is a good horse and has a good record over here in weight-for-age races and Chris Waller has got three in; in Australia they often come out of left field.”
It’s A Dundeel started his 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival campaign with an upset loss to Boban in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm on March 8 and according to Baker has taken plenty of benefit out of the run.
The son of High Chaparral is undefeated in three second-up starts, including his memorable win over glamour mare Atlantic Jewel in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m), and Baker believes that his star galloper is close to the fitness levels he had when he won the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) last year.
“We are very happy with him and it seems to be right on target,” Baker said.
“Hopefully he has improved a bit.
“He has certainly tightened up and he looks to be a fitter horse, but he is going to have to be to run over 2000 against a very good field.
“We think that he is as fit as he was this time last year when he ran in the Rosehill Guineas.”
It’s A Dundeel is currently available at 2014 Ranvet Stakes odds of $3.20, while Fiorente remains a clear favourite at a quote of $2.60.