It’s A Dundeel could be having his final race start in the 2014 Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Royal Randwick on Saturday and trainer Murray Baker believes that his star galloper is ready to fire in the Group 1 event.
It’s A Dundeel has been unable to record a race win during the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival, finishing second in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m), third in the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (200m) and second in the Group 1 The BMW (2400m), and Baker believes that the High Chaparral colt has been a race behind in terms of fitness, but told Racing Ahead this morning that he is happy with the condition of the four-year-old heading into the Queen Elizabeth Stakes this weekend.
“We are very happy with him,” Baker said.
“He seems to have come on in leaps and bounds in the last week and a half and we can’t ask for more than that.
“He has sort of been half a race behind, but he has acquitted himself well at Group 1 weight-for-age level in Sydney and it is pretty tough.
“He just seems to have got a bit of bounce back in.
“To be fair he had a tough race first-up at a mile when beaten by Boban and maybe it took a little bit out of him.”
It’s A Dundeel raced a tough flat when he dropped back to 2000 metres for the 2013 Queen Elizabeth Stakes, after winning the Group 1 Australian Derby over 2400 metres, and he suffered a shock defeat to Reliable Man.
The five-time Group 1 winner will be dropping back in trip again in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes on Saturday, but Baker is confident that the stallion prospect will be able to handle the change in trip.
“He has had another race less this year; it was his fifth run up last year and it is his fourth run this year,” Baker said.
“We have trained him a little bit differently, there is a bit of variety at Warwick Farm and we have been able to put that into his work.
“I think that has kept him a little bit on the fresh side.
“This is what he has been aimed at all along and we are very happy with where that he is.
It’s A Dundeel has previously performed well on a heavy track, finishing fourth in the 2014 Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) and second in The BMW less than a fortnight ago, but Baker is still hoping for the Royal Randwick track to dry out in the lead-up to the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
“I think that everybody would want it to improve a little bit; it is very hard to sprint off those deep tracks,” Baker said.
“It seems to anchor them a little bit and we are hoping that it dries out.”
It’s A Dundeel ($6) is currently on the third line of 2014 Queen Elizabeth Stakes betting markets; with Gai Waterhouse-trained Carlton House ($3.50) a narrow favourite from The BMW winner Silent Achiever ($4.60).