Unbeaten New Zealand colt It’s A Dundeel will follow a tried and true path to the Victoria Derby (2500m) when he lines up in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on October 6.
The last three winners of the Derby have all gone through the Spring Champion Stakes including Lion Tamer (2010) who was co-trained by It’s A Dundeel trainer Murray Baker and son Bjorn.
Bjorn Baker is overseeing It’s A Dundeel’s spring program at his Warwick Farm base and he believes he is a more accomplished product than Lion Tamer was at the same stage.
“He’s probably done more than Lion Tamer at the same stage. He’s gone out and won the Gloaming which Lion Tamer ran seventh in,” Baker said.
“He’s probably a little bit more advanced than he was. I guess the one thing you can say is similar about them is they both stay.”
The three-year-old kept his unbeaten record alive in the Gloaming Stakes on Saturday when he again came from the back of the field to run over the top of his rivals in the straight.
“It was a good win and obviously we’re very happy. Winning is all you can ask them to do,” Baker said.
In all three Australian starts, the son of High Chaparral has benefited from strong tempos but Baker suggested he may be able to change his running style if he doesn’t get conditions to suit.
“Time will tell [if he can be ridden more positively] but not too many came from the back to win on Saturday,” he said.
“In races that are run slower which the Spring Champion might be, he might be ridden a bit more forward.”
It’s A Dundeel is currently at $6.50 for the Spring Champion Stakes with unbeaten Gai Waterhouse-trained colt Proisir the favourite at $1.75.