Stand in rider Michael Rodd describes Kiwi sensation It’s A Dundeel as a pocket rocket after he got a feel of the three year old for the first time at Warwick Farm yesterday.
It’s A Dundeel will start a short priced favourite in Saturday’s Group 1 $500,000 Santos Coffee Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on the back of his spectacular 6 lengths win in the Group 1 $1.5m David Jones Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick on April 13.
Rodd is replacing the star three year old’s regular rider James McDonald who is on the sidelines due to suspension and was very impressed when he rode the colt in track work.
“He’s a good mover, very balanced and actually feels like a sprinter when he works – he’s electric when you let him go,” Rodd said.
“He’s a pocket-rocket who can stay.”
“When you look at his record, and the way he puts other horses away, I was expecting him to be a bit taller, bit thicker and a little bigger.”
“That was only a maintenance gallop, it wasn’t a fitness gallop, but he felt fantastic.
“He’s a cocky little bastard. He’s got confidence in his ability, and knows he’s pretty good.”
After taking out the Group 1 $400,000 Chandon Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Randwick last Spring, It’s A Dundeel has won three more Group 1s over the Sydney Autumn Carnival with McDonald aboard for all his victories.
It’s A Dundeel wrapped up the Autumn Triple Crown for the three year olds winning the Australian Derby which followed wins in the Group 1 $550,000 Hyland Race Colours Royal Randwick Guineas (1600m) at Warwick Farm and the Group 1 $500,000 M. J. Bale Rosehill Guineas (2000m) at Rosehill.
The super star Kiwi colt has drawn barrier five in a nine horse field in the weight for age Queen Elizabeth with rival New Zealand filly Silent Achiever drawing two to the outside of him in gate seven.
Peter Moody’s top performer Manighar drew the outside of the field while Mike Moroney is expecting an improved effort from Glass Harmonium over his favourite distance after only beating four runners home in the Group 1 $2m BMW Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick last Saturday on a very heavy track.
Trainer Murray Baker will give It’s A Dundeel a short break after Saturday before preparing him for the Melbourne Spring Carnival with bookmakers already installing him as favourite for the Group 1 $3m Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley in October.