Arrowfield Stud got the 2014 Queen Elizabeth Stakes result that they were looking for; with It’s A Dundeel taking out the $4 million event in what could be the final race start of his career.
It’s A Dundeel had not recorded a race win in three starts during the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival, but returned to his best form to record a comfortable win in the Group 1 event a Royal Randwick this weekend.
Carlton House jumped straight to the lead in the 2014 Queen Elizabeth Stakes, as expected, and made sure that the race was run at a good tempo, while It’s A Dundeel settled just behind the speed in third.
The High Chaparral entire responded well when asked for an extra effort in the final stages of the race and held-off a fast finishing Sacred Falls to record his sixth win at the highest level of racing.
“We were aiming for this all along and we saw this gallop on Thursday and thought that he was back to last year as a three-year-old.
“He fell over in the parade ground, but we thought he was spot-on today.
“It was the plan all along to only give him four races and he has been half a race behind, but I think that The BMW really topped him off.
“House made it for him, he got a good run, and he is a stayer so he kicked home.”
James McDonald has formed an excellent association with It’s A Dundeel throughout his racing career, steering him to victory in each of his Group 1 triumphs, and he was delighted to score another big race win on the four-year-old.
“I can’t believe it; I don’t know if I am more happy about winning $4 million or winning the race,” McDonald said.
“I worked him on Tuesday and I got off and said that they don’t work as well as he worked.
“He was back to his brilliant best and it was so good to win the race.”
Part-owner John Messara, who also serves as Chairman of the Australian Turf Club, played a key role in putting together The Championships and he was delighted to celebrate a momentous day in the history of New South Wales racing with a victory in the Group 1 event.
Messara refused to confirm whether It’s A Dundeel would be retired, but he has likely had his final race start and is set to stand at Arrowfield Stud during the 2014 breeding season.
“It is a very exciting moment for us,” Messara said.
“He took a while to get fit this time around and he seemed to be one run behind and we were a little bit disappointed along the way, but Murray had him right on the day.
“I don’t know (if It’s A Dundeel will be retired), we are going to think about it overnight.”