Classy New Zealand colt It’s A Dundeel will face nine rivals when he starts as an odds-on favourite in the Group 1 $1.5 million Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick on Saturday.
The Murray Baker-trained galloper has drawn barrier eight and is expected to attract close to “Black Caviar” odds for his attempt at the third leg of the Sydney three-year-old triple crown.
It’s A Dundeel stormed home to win the Randwick Guineas last month before dishing out a seven-length walloping in the Rosehill Guineas.
While he rises to a distance he is yet to succeed at, the opening quote for the son of High Chaparral is likely to be between $1.20-1.25.
Taking on the boom colt is Victorian stayer Philippi who will be backing up just seven days after winning on Sydney debut in the Group 2 Tulloch Stakes.
The Mick Kent-trained colt earned his shot at the prestigious staying feature after powering down the outside to win the Tulloch by three lengths.
Philippi is joined in the field by stablemate High Shot and fellow Victorian Hvasstan.
Hvasstan beat Philippi in the Group 2 Alister Clark Stakes at Moonee Valley last month but struggled in his first start in Sydney to finish seventh in the Rosehill Guineas.
Backing up from the Tulloch Stakes is Gai Waterhouse-trained colt Hippopus who handled a steep rise in grade to run a strong second behind Philippi.
David Hayes has two runners with Tulloch Stakes fifth Gerontius and Bass Strait. Rounding out the field are Solemn, Kingdoms and Bloodbuzz Ohio.
Connections of New Zealand Derby winner Habibi considered starting the filly this weekend but will instead hold off until the $550,000 Australian Oaks (2400m) on Saturday week.