An anticipated rematch between It’s A Dundeel and glamour mare Atlantic Jewel has been put on hold after New Zealand trainer Murray Baker decided against running the Australian Derby winner in the Group 1 $400,000 Cathay Pacific Caulfield Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
It’s A Dundeel’s Spring campaign hit a small speed bump when the Kiwi stallion developed a foot abscess after denying Atlantic Jewel her tenth straight win with a nose victory in the Group 1 $400,000 Hyland Race Colours Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on September 21.
The Kiwi multiple Group 1 winner pulled up okay after the Underwood Stakes but was sore after work on Saturday morning.
Baker has originally informed Racing Victoria stewards that he would test out It’s A Dundeel’s sore hoof tomorrow morning in a track gallop but a change of heart will see the High Chaparral stallion miss the weight for age contest on Saturday.
“The foot abscess burst at nine o’clock this morning (Monday) which is a good sign,” chief steward Bailey told the Herald Sun.
“The horse has not worked since last Thursday except for one lap of the Flemington grass track on Saturday morning when it pulled up sore.”
Even tough It’s A Dundeel had not missed any important work and the abscess had burst open and was on the mend, Baker didn’t want to take any chances and will concentrate on getting him ready for the Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 26.
“We got his gallop in on Saturday and all he has missed is a day’s trot and canter,” Baker said.
“We thought we had it initially when the abscess popped out of a small quarter crack but it travelled back up the foot, went to the bulb of his heel and it burst on Monday.”
Trainer Mark Kavanagh was looking forward to the return clash with It’s A Dundeel and said the Atlantic Jewel is fit and ready to go in the Caulfield Stakes.
“The mare is all right, everything is okay,” Kavanagh said.
Atlantic Jewel is currently the $3.20 favourite for the Cox Plate and a win on Saturday will see her cement that spot while a win by It’s A Dundeel, currently at $4.20, could see him leapfrog the glamour mare and take over the top spot.
The Darren Weir trained Puissance De Lune and Fioretne share the next line of betting at $5.50 after finishing second and fourth respectively to Happy Trails in Saturday’s Group 1 $500,000 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington.