Gai Waterhouse has declared Kiwi star It’s A Dundeel as the horse to be beat in Saturday’s Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley.
Waterhouse will saddle up top fancy Fiorente and has rated It’s A Dundeel the hardest to beat in another star studded Cox Plate field that includes Atlantic Jewel and Puissance De Lune.
“This Cox Plate is not just between the mare, Atlantic Jewel, and Fiorente,’’ Waterhouse told the Herald Sun.
“I think the one to beat is Murray Baker’s horse, It’s A Dundeel. He is the unsung hero of the race.
“Of course, Atlantic Jewel will be hard to beat, but It’s A Dundeel looks sensational. There is no horse at Flemington that looks better.
“He has turned the corner. You don’t want to be running against him.’’
Waterhouse has settled on a jockey for Fiorente with Sydney jockey Blake Shinn taking over from the suspended Damien Oliver who had replaced Nash Rawiller for the import’s Spring campaign.
The Murray Baker trained It’s A Dundeel looks to have recovered from a foot abscess which saw him miss a couple of days work after beating the previously undefeated Atlantic Jewel in the Group 1 $400,000 Hyland Race Colours Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on September 21.
Baker and rider James McDonlad were more than pleased with the Australian Derby winner when he galloped in between races at Caulfield last Wednesday.
A final hit out for It’s A Dundeel at the Breakfast with the Best at Moonee Valley tomorrow morning will have the High Chaparral four year old at his top for Cox Plate day.
Cox Plate betting has Mark Kavanagh’s super mare Atlantic Jewel the $2.30 favourite in front of Fiorente and It’s A Dundeel who share the second line of betting at $5.
Darren Weir’s imported grey Puissance De Lune is next in the market order at $7.50 with Caulfield Guineas winner Long John at $12.