Trainer Murray Baker is confident that It’s A Dundeel is forward enough heading into the 2014 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm on Saturday.
It’s A Dundeel has not been seen at the races since he finished eighth behind Shamus Award in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 26 last year, but has been in work for almost two weeks and performed strongly in a barrier trial at Royal Randwick on February 24.
Baker told Sky Racing HQ that It’s A Dundeel is sure to improve as he continues through his 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival campaign, which will conclude with a tilt at the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on April 19, and said that he is looking forward to getting his star gallopers preparation underway.
“We like to think that he is forward; he had a jump out in New Zealand and a trial last week at Randwick, which would have cleaned him up a bit,” Baker said.
“We hope that he is on the mark.
“He should keep improving; he is a colt and he probably needs a bit of racing to get him right.
“He did put in (in his barrier trial) and I wanted to give him a reasonable trial to bring him on a bit and that is what happened.
“We have to get it underway and that is the same for all trainers with carnival horses, you just want to get it started and make a run for it.”
It’s A Dundeel will jump from the inside barrier in the Chipping Norton Stakes this weekend and Baker believes that neither the number one alley or the fact that the Warwick Farm surface is likely to be in the soft range will be an issue for the five-time Group 1 winner this weekend.
“You can take it as it goes and it will be up to the jockey,” Baker said.
“He galloped on the course proper and went well.
“He had no worries and I don’t think that we can use the wet track as an excuse.”
It’s A Dundeel ($2) is currently a clear favourite in the 2014 Chipping Norton Stakes betting market at Ladbrokes from Chris Waller-trained Boban ($3.80), Chelmsford Stakes winner Hawkspur ($8.50), tough stayer Moriarty ($9.50) and beaten The Metropolitan favourite Prince Cheri ($14).