It's A Dundeel makes Cox Plate history

Future Arrowfield stallion It’s A Dundeel made history this afternoon at Moonee Valley with a magnificent victory in the $3 million MVRC Cox Plate 2040m G1.

It’s A Dundeel has made Australian racing history on several counts.

He joins an elite group of champions that have won the Australian Derby and Cox Plate in successive seasons. The other five horses to achieve that double are Phar Lap (1930),  Kingston Town (1980) and Strawberry Road (1983) Dulcify (1979) & Bonecrusher (1986).   

He is the first horse ever to win the race from barrier 12.

His 35-day break before the race is the longest of any Cox Plate winner since at least 1979.

He and Fields of Omagh (2003) are the only Cox Plate winners since 1979 to win the race at their third season start.

He has now won six Group 1 races at 1600, 1800, 2000, 2040 and 2400 metres. 

It’s A Dundeel is raced by the 18-strong Transtasman Syndicate, including his Hawke’s Bay breeders Murray and Jo Andersen who are true small-scale breeders, and have never mated more than two mares in a season.   

Murray says, “I’ve always wanted to win the Melbourne Cup, like many people, but the Cox Plate is the ultimate dream because that’s real class.   

“What’s most exciting for us is that we’re now involved with Arrowfield. That’s magic and we’re very much looking forward to It’s A Dundeel’s stud career.”

The other members of the Syndicate are the Andersens’ daughter Tracy, her husband Gavin Chaplow, Murray’s sister Sharyn & her husband Mike Craig, Mike’s brother Tony and his wife Wendy, Jenny & David Morrison, Max & Jo Brown, Tony & Jenny Joyce and two Australian-based couples Tony & Gina Muollo and Demetrius & Angela Frocas.

Murray Andersen has raced horses for about 35 years and enjoyed previous Group 1 success with It’s A Dundeel’s high-class grand-dam Staring (Fiesta Star-Sweet Violet by In the Purple), descended from the great taproot mare Eulogy. 

Staring, the ??? NZ Filly of the Year, won eight races, including the New Zealand Oaks and a 2000-metre weight-for-age race at four. Like her grandson she was trained by Murray Baker, who has been a friend of the Andersens for three decades.     

Murray says, “After her race career she went to stud and I bred her in partnership with Sir Patrick and Justine, Lady Hogan. We put her to Zabeel a number of times and we were going to race a filly but even before she was broken in she spread herself in the paddock and couldn’t race. About that time Sir Patrick decided to cull some of his bloodstock and he offered me his half share in her, and that’s how I ended up with Stareel.”

Stareel’s last two foals are also by that sire and there is little surprise to find tha,t given Andersen’s obvious love affair with Sadler’s Wells, she is visiting the Epsom Derby winner Pour Moi(IRE) (Montjeu- Gwynn) this year.

“He is a lovely horse and physically he will suit the mare, and it’s a fantastic sire line. I liked High Chaparral when I first saw him and loved his bloodlines, which is why I sent both Staring and Stareel there.

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