Everybody already knew star New Zealand colt It’s A Dundeel was heading to the Cox Plate but it’s now known how he will get there.
Trainer Murray Baker has mapped out a spring schedule for the rising four-year-old – consisting of entirely Group 1 races – that is set to begin with either the Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 31 or the Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington a week later.
Both races have recently been elevated to Group 1 level but Baker said the Memsie has slightly more appeal as the classy galloper has already won a Group 1 over 1600m. Adding a 1400m Group 1 to his resume would highlight his versatility and in turn improve his prospects as a stallion.
“Being a colt if he could win a Group 1 over 1400 it would be great for his future prospects at stud,” Baker told Racing Victoria.
The experienced trainer will then set the son of High Chaparral for the Underwood Stakes (1800m) and the Caulfield Stakes (2000m) before the ultimate goal of the Cox Plate.
It’s A Dundeel has been one of the stars of the 2012-13 racing season, scoring four Group 1 wins including Sydney’s three-year-old triple crown in the autumn.
From 12 starts in his young career the talented galloper has won eight times and collected more than $2.1 million in prizemoney.
With fellow superstar colts All Too Hard and Pierro retired to the breeding barn, the stage has been set for It’s A Dundeel to take all before him this spring.
Small but full of heart and boasting an electrifying turn of foot, he has been back in work at Baker’s Cambridge stable for the last four weeks.
Baker said It’s A Dundeel has developed physically during a spell in the paddock and sees no reason why he can’t again be a force this spring.