Star kiwi galloper It’s A Dundeel (NZ) has the Australian Derby at his mercy after a brilliant victory in the $500,000 Group 1 M.J. Bale Rosehill Guineas (2000m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
It's A Dundeel (NZ) and James McDonald in full flight, picture Sportpix.com.au
The Murray Baker-trained galloper relished the switched to blinkers last start when an impressive winner of the group 1 Randwick Guineas and with an extra 400m to his advantage, the Rosehill Guineas turned into a galloping lesson for his rivals.
Saturday’s race was won in the first few hundred metres when James McDonald managed to keep It’s A Dundeel off the fence when Hvasstan (Newitt) was shifting in, ensuring It’s A Dundeel had a clear run into the race when the time came.
With a solid tempo up front, little changed in the run until the 500m when McDonald set It’s A Dundeel alight. The turn of foot was ultra impressive as he went from a length behind Hvasstan to a length in front in the space of 75m.
By the 375m he was in front and from there the margin only got bigger as It’s A Dundeel streaked away to score a commanding victory.
On the line the margin was six and three quarter lengths to former New Zealander Sacred Falls (NZ) (Innes) with a long head to Tatra (McEvoy) in third place. The overall time was 2.02.25 with the last 600m run in 34.95.
“He has been working very well and I think he has kept improving since the spring,” Baker said.
“That is probably the Zabeel coming out a bit. I’ve trained a few out of this family and they take a bit to get going.
“It was a brilliant win. When he was back second last I thought ‘jeez’ but we know he’s got that big sprint and he can sustain it.
“I think he was relaxed and he was off the fence which was the big thing.
“I didn’t want him to get trapped on the fence where he had to stop and start.
“He is right up there with them with the likes of Phantom and Nom De Jeu.
“The Derby has been the mission right through. We nominated for the Tancred [BMW] but you can’t run in everything and we want to run him in his own age group.”
“He is definitely the best horse I’ve ever sat on,” McDonald said. “It was breathtaking. I was in a bit of an awkward spot approaching the home corner and a few of the guys were riding to beat me.
“My horse was clearly the best horse, it would have been good if Fiveandahalfstar was there.
“I definitely wanted to ride him like the best horse. There was a moment I got shoved on the fence and I manage to pop off pretty easily and he found the line strong, really strong.”
Derby in their sights, picture Sportpix.com.au
It’s A Dundeel is by High Chaparral (IRE) out of the Zabeel (NZ) mare Stareel (NZ) and is owned by A I Craig, Mrs W A Craig, M M Andersen, Mrs J P Andersen, M J Craig, Mrs S S Craig, D C Morison, Ms J E Morison, G P Chaplow, Mrs T P Andersen, M P Brown, Mrs J M Brown, T J Joyce, Mrs J Joyce, A M Muollo, Mrs G Muollo, D Focas & Mrs A F Focas. His record now stands at seven wins from 10 starts with prizemoney totalling $1,100,905.
James McDonald starts thinking about the victory salute, click $400 say the stewards', picture Sportpix.com.au
Photofinish, by ATC