It was an imperial display of outstanding galloping from It’s A Dundeel (NZ) under James McDonald to win the $1.5m, Group 1 David Jones Australian Derby (2400m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday to place him on the world stage.
It's A Dundeel leaves the field in is wake as he wins the Australian Derby, picture sportpix.com.au
The official winning was 6L but the High Chaparral colt, trained by Murray Baker, was in cruise mode over the final 100m with McDonald standing high in the irons as they simply galloped to the line with the greatest of ease. The rest of the field held a different battle for the minor placings as they had been outclassed by a very good horse.
McDonald settled It’s A Dundeel in second last as they went past the post for the first time and he sat back and let the race unfold in front of him.
Bloodbuzz Ohio and Jim Cassidy led out down the back straight with Hippopus (NZ) and Nash Rawiller sitting outside with a half-length margin, with Bass Strait (NZ) and Tommy Berry bringing the rest of the field along.
McDonald turned on the power as they went past the 500m and starting the turn for the main straight. He was not concerned about being the widest runner and It’s A Dundeel picked up the back of Philippi and Luke Nolan with ease as they went up the rise.
Kingdoms (NZ) and Michael Rodd has taken over the leading role but it was fleeting as Philippi and It’s A Dundeel went past. Then it was just a matter of when McDonald would let It’s A Dundeel go.
Once he did with 300m to run It’s A Dundeel went away into the distance and McDonald was riding hands and heels and eventually just standing high in the irons and they had completed a Group 1 treble of Randwick Guineas, Rosehill Guineas and finally the pinnacle of the Australian Derby.
James McDonald celebrates as It's A Dundeel returns, picture sportpix.com.au
Philippi (Host) was second with Kingdoms (High Chaparral) third, the margin 1 1/4L. Gerontius was fourth and Hippopus fifth.
The time was 2.33.49 on the Dead 4 track with the final 600m in 36.97. It’s A Dundeel paid $1.30 on NSW TAB.
“We saw he was spot on, it was much the same form as the Rosehill Guineas,” said Baker.
“He’s got that great acceleration; he seems to just pick them up easily. He’s a pretty relaxed horse, we were very happy with him today.
“At the stalls he was so laid back you wondered whether he was going to race.
“He doesn’t drop out (with the blinkers) and you don’t have to niggle him away he just picks the bit up when you ask him to go.
“He’s the best; I think he is a very, very good horse. To win three Group 1 races in Sydney, it’s a very big effort.
“We’ve got it [Queen Elizabeth] in the back of our minds but we won’t make any decisions until the middle of next week.
“I do not think he was severely taxed today,” he said.
“It was easier than last time, there was no hustle and bustling for position,” said McDonald.
“It was a real enjoyable race to ride in he just towed me to the 600m and I got just an unbelievable drag into the race from Phillipi.
“When he went forward I just got on his back and then it was just a case of how far does he win by.
”I don’t think I have ever won a race so easily and that was a Group 1 Race in Australia, the Derby.
“I still think he felt better last start today he felt a bit dour, he’s an incredible horse and he’s got a fantastic future.
”On that performance today he was hitting the line as strong as ever and he’ll run two miles (3200m) no worries.
“He’s just a super colt and is just going to take me everywhere,” he said.
It's A Dundeel, picture sportpix.com.au
It’s A Dundeel, out of the Zabeel mare Stareel, has now raced 11 times for eight wins and a second place for stakes of $2,000,905 for owners 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 and Mrs A F Focas.
Race 7 Photofinish ATC