Unbeaten New Zealand colt It’s A Dundeel is among 80 horses entered for the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) to be held at Flemington on November 3.
Trained by Murray Baker, the three-year-old arrived in Australia prior to the spring with just one start to his name and has since produced three impressive victories.
The son of High Chaparral won midweek races at Wyong and Canterbury before stepping up to stakes level to to win by 1 ½ lengths in the Group 3 Gloaming Stakes (1800m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Baker confirmed the Victoria Derby was in It’s A Dundeel’s sights provided he gets through his next test in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on October 6.
“The sign of a good horse when they keep stepping up. He was up in grade today and produced a good sprint at the finish,” Baker said after Saturday’s race.
“Hopefully we can get down to Melbourne [for the Derby] if he can run good in the Spring Champion.”
Joining It’s A Dundeel in Victoria Derby nominations is boom colt All Too Hard who has so far failed to live up to pre-spring expectations.
After a successful two-year-old season many predicted the half-brother to Black Caviar would challenge Pierro as the best three-year-old in the country but he has so far failed to make an impact in three spring starts.
Gai Waterhouse has not nominated Spring Champion Stakes favourite Proisir but has four other entries including Golden Rose fifth Kabayan, Gloaming Stakes fourth King Of Olympia, last-start winner Indianapolis and unraced colt Our Desert Warrior.
Other notable Victoria Derby entries include Shamexpress, Hvasstan and Ming Dynasty winner Tatra.