Murray Baker to put final touches on It’s A Dundeel

By: Mark Mazzaglia
March 13th, 2013

Kiwi trainer Murray Baker will be back in Sydney tomorrow to put the final touches on his top three year old It’s A Dundeel leading up to Saturday’s Group 1 $550,000 Hyland Race Colours Royal Randwick Guineas (1600m) at Warwick Farm.

it's a dundeel

It's A Dundeel winning the 2012 Spring Champion Stakes at Randwick. Photo by Steve Hart.

The crack New Zealand colt had been under the care of Baker’s son, Bjorn at Warwick Farm and will be having his first start on the tricky circuit.

“Dad arrives on Thursday so he’ll take charge I’m sure,” Bjorn Baker said,

It’s A Dundeel is having his second run back from a spell after finishing fourth on a heavy track to Pierro in the Group 2 $200,000 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on March 2 with Baker adding blinkers to the three year old’s gear as he steps up to a more suitable distance.

Bjorn Baker is happy with the progress of It’s A Dundeel and doesn’t feel that his father will have too much to worry about.

“He’s in a good place right now, really fit and well,” Baker said.

James McDonald is again on It’s A Dundeel and is certain to get back in the field from barrier two before starting to make his move before the home turn to give the three year old a clear run to the line.

“I think barrier two might be a bit tricky for him, but James can work that out,” Baker said.

It’s A Dundeel won the Group 1 $400,000 Chandon Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on October 6 before heading to Melbourne where he failed to produce his best form.

The High Chaparral colt was sent out the favourite in the Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington on November 3 but only plodded in the straight to wind up in seventh spot.

It’s A Dundeel is to clash again with the Gai Waterhouse trained Proisir.

Proisir finished behind It’s A Dundeel when second in the Spring Champion Stakes then beat the Kiwi home in the Hobartville Stakes when third to his super star stablemate Pierro.

Proisir, with Hugh Bowman up, will make his own luck again up on the pace from barrier three while McDonald will be looking for all the favours coming from the back.

Australian Guineas winner Ferlax will be having his first run the Sydney way of going after winning the $500,000 Flemington three year old feature three weeks ago and trainer Jim Conlan said the Pentire colt had pulled up in great order.

“I’ve been trying to find a reason why we’d take him out, but all he has done is improve and train on,” Conlan said.

“And now with Pierro and All Too Hard not running it‘s made the race a little more achievable.”

“I really couldn’t be happier with the horse, he’s done everything right and we’ll give him a chance to do it again and win another Group 1.”

Melbourne Cup winning jockey Brett Prebble takes over from Stephen Baster who is riding at the Bendigo Guineas Day meeting on Saturday.

“We certainly don’t lose anything there, Brett is one of the best riders in the world now,” Conlan said.

Ferlax will jump from gate eight while top local chance Rebel Dane will come out of barrier one after stretching Pierro when a short half head second in the Hobartville Stakes.

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