It’s A Dundeel on target for the Cox Plate

Leading Cox Plate contender and future Arrowfield resident It’s A Dundeel confirmed his recovery from a hoof abscess with a bright gallop between races at Caulfield this afternoon.

Raceday jockey James McDonald rode the 4YO entire who was understandably restless as he walked onto the track, but cruised comfortably round the track and finished his work in pleasing fashion.

The gallop was closely watched by trainer Murray Baker, who will now remain in Melbourne to oversee the final stage of It’s A Dundeel’s preparation for the $3 million MVRC W.S. Cox Plate G1 on 26 October.

“He looks very good physically and I don’t think he’s lost too much. He missed a couple of days’ work last week, that’s about it. He doesn’t do much on his own, so we hope he did enough today,” Baker said.

“We’ll take him to Breakfast With The Stars next Tuesday, get a partner for him, and hopefully top him off a bit more.

“He’s a horse that doesn’t take a lot of work and we just hope we get him there 100 per cent fit.”

James McDonald reported, “He was good. I think he needed it as he was a bit fresh. He worked from the 600 quite strongly and finished off really impressively.”

“He does not really work that hard without a mate, so without the blinkers on he cruised around here and he felt brilliant. Going around he towed me around and finished off the gallop beautifully.

“He won the Rosehill Guineas pretty impressively third up and he likes his races spaced so I think it is a blessing in disguise,” added McDonald.

It’s A Dundeel notched up his fifth Group 1 victory when he defeated Atlantic Jewel in a thrilling MRC Underwood S. G1 on 21 September and the stage is now set for a classic Cox Plate showdown. 
Murray Baker, last season’s New Zealand Trainer of the Year, has no illusions about the challenge presented by the champion daughter of Fastnet Rock. “She’s an awesome mare and she’s going to take a lot of beating.”

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