Trainer Murray Baker has revealed that five-time Group 1 winner It’s A Dundeel looks as good as he has ever seen him, as the four-year-old continues his preparation for the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
It’s A Dundeel returned from the spelling paddock in Cambridge just under five weeks ago and Baker told Sky Racing HQ this morning that he could not be happier with the condition of the son of High Chaparral.
“He is excellent and probably the best I have ever seen him,” Baker said.
“He has let down into a very mature stallion now.
“He is strong and we are very happy with where he is, he couldn’t be better.
“He has certainly spelled well here at Cambridge and he came back looking a million dollars.”
It’s A Dundeel started his 2013 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with a fourth place finish in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) before upsetting glamour mare Atlantic Jewel in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m), but has his preparation interrupted by a foot issue caused by a burst abscess.
He missed a rematch with Atlantic Jewel in the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) but recovered in time to finish eighth in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) and Baker said that he has shown no signs of still being troubled by the issue.
“Everything is ok there and it seems excellent,” Baker said.
“There are no problems at all.
“I have always said giving the way that he is bred, by High Chaparral out of a Zabeel mare, that he should be at his best as an autumn four-year-old.”
It’s A Dundeel will race exclusively in Sydney during the autumn and will begin his campaign in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm on March 8 before contesting the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 22, the Group 1 The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill Gardens on April 5 and the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on April 19.
Baker has generally elected to give It’s A Dundeel his first race start of a preparation over 1400 metres but the veteran trainer believes that the four-year-old is a much better chance of recording a first-up win over a mile.
“We feel that he is not a 1400 metre horse and he ran very credibly in the Hobartville last year as a three-year-old, he got back and ran on well, and he ran well in the Memsie,” Baker said.
“That is really not his go and I think to give the horse his best go he really needs to be at a mile.”
It’s A Dundeel will arrive in Australia, along with stablemates Atlante and Show The World, in the middle of February.