Trainer Murray Baker has revealed that he is not worried It’s A Dundeel will be heading into the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 26 without having raced for five weeks.
It’s A Dundeel stamped himself as the favourite for the Cox Plate when he upset glamour mare Atlantic Jewel in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield last month but his preparation hit a road block when he was found with a foot abscess last week.
The issue meant that the High Chaparral entire was ruled out of this weekend’s Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m), the key lead-up race for the Cox Plate, but Baker told Sky Racing HQ this morning that he isn’t concerned about the lengthy lay-off for the three-year-old Triple Crown winner.
“It is disappointing to miss a race like the Caulfield Stakes, which is a terrific lead-in to the Cox, but that is just something we have to grin and bear,” Baker said.
“The horse is a very athletic horse and if we can get him fit enough I’m not too concerned that he wouldn’t have raced for five weeks.
“He is a horse that races well fresh anyway so we just have to take our chance.”
It’s A Dundeel took part in a bit of minor trackwork over the past two days and Baker is hopeful that the foot problem will continue to improve so that It’s A Dundeel is able to have a serious gallop sometime next week and take part in the Cox Plate Breakfast With The Best at Moonee Valley on Tuesday October 22.
“He is coming along fine,” Baker said.
“He worked this morning on the track and worked yesterday morning on the track and went to the beach.
“It still needs to harden up a bit but we are positive that he will get there.
“He only missed a couple of days so it is just one of those unfortunate things.
“We would like to get a serious gallop in him sometime next week and we would like to see him gallop on the Saturday but that is in the lap of the gods.”
It’s A Dundeel ($4.80) is currently on the second line of 2013 Cox Plate betting markets behind Atlantic Jewel ($2.80).