It’s A Dundeel still on target for Cox Plate

By: Mark Mazzaglia
October 9th, 2013

Spring Carnival star It’s A Dundeel will have to go into the Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 26 without a run for five weeks as he recovers from a foot injury.

It's A Dundeel and Atlantic Jewel will meet again in the Cox Plate at Moonee Valley.

It's A Dundeel, blue and gold, and Atlantic Jewel, all blue, will meet again in the Cox Plate at Moonee Valley. Photo by Race Horse Photos Australia.

Cambridge trainer Murray Baker is hopeful to have It’s A Dundeel back to galloping on Saturday following the four year old’s battle to recover from a foot abscess which developed over the weekend.

“The abscess just took a little while to break out, we’re probably a couple of days too late,” Baker told The Daily Telegraph.

“We’ll let the heel harden up and we won’t do a lot with him this week. We’ll possibly be ready to have a gallop this Saturday and we’ll just take it from there.”

Baker has been taking It’s A Dundeel to the beach to paddle and once the heel has mended, the top Kiwi trainer is confident that he has plenty of time to get the High Chaparral stallion back to his peak for the weight for age Championship of Australasia at Moonee Valley.

“It’s very unfortunate, it’s bad timing but touch wood we’ve still got a horse,” Baker said.

“He’s sound, he’s got nothing wrong with him, it could have been a lot worse.”

It’s A Dundeel, with James McDonald aboard, lowered the colours of glamour mare Atlantic Jewel for the first time with a nose win in the Group 1 $400,000 Hyland Race Colours Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on September 21.

The racing public was anxiously awaiting a rematch in Saturday’s Group 1 $400,000 Cathay Pacific Caulfield Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield but will now have to wait an extra two weeks to see It’s A Dundeel and Atlantic Jewel do battle again.

Atlantic Jewel, who was denied her tenth straight win when an heroic second in the Underwood Stakes, has been ticking over nicely and will take her place in Caulfield Stakes.

Reports from Flemington indicate that Atlantic Jewel has continued to work well and finished off her work yesterday morning in fine style, running the final 400m in 23.4s.

“The mare is all right, everything is okay,” trainer Mark Kavanagh said.

Atlantic Jewel is currently the $2.80 favourite for the Cox Plate and a win on Saturday will see her cement that spot while the Gai Waterhouse trained Fiorente has leap frogged his way into second spot in the market order at $4.60 with It’s A Dundeel drifting out to $5.25.

The Darren Weir trained Puissance De Lune is now $8.50 after finishing second to Happy Trails ($21)  in last Saturday’s Group 1 $500,000 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington.

Sydney’s top filly and Thousand Guineas favourite Guelph has entered the market with trainer Peter Snowden not ruling out a Cox Plate start and is marked at $15.

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