Dundeel steps up with abundant 3YO talent

Three excellent winners in three days, and six in 25 days give Dundeel a strong hand for 3YO racing in Australia & New Zealand as the Summer & Autumn Carnivals roll around…

Three excellent winners in three days, and six in 25 days give Dundeel a strong hand for 3YO racing in Australia & New Zealand as the Summer & Autumn Carnivals roll around. 

Hard on the heels of the Anthony Freedman-trained Shake On It at Moe on Thursday, and the Maher & Eustace-trained The Closer at Ballarat on Saturday, came Cutadeel at Te Rapa on Sunday.

Cutadeel, raced by Dundeel’s co-owners Mike & Sharyn Craig, their sons Jamie Craig and Adrian, Brendon & Darren Herd, and friends Kathleeen Wright & Cheryl Leonard, lined up as the only 3YO in the Dunstan Feeds Stayers Championship Qualifier over 1600 metres.

Even a series of bumps in the straight could not blunt his finishing speed and he sped away in the final stages to score by 1.25 lengths from Masu and Summer Wind in 1:36.7 on the Dead6 track.

Watch Cutadeel win at Te Rapa

Jockey Opie Bosson said, “He’s not big, but he has a great turn of foot”, a comment equally descriptive of Dundeel during his own spectacular 3YO career.

Co-trainer Murray Baker indicated that Cutadeel will appreciate the Derby distance, so the New Zealand and perhaps the Australian Derby his sire won so brilliantly in 2013 are obvious targets for him.

Like another seven of Dundeel’s 18 first-crop winners, Cutadeel is out of a Danehill-line mare, in his case Dineeta (by Dylan Thomas), descended from the Aga Kahan-bred stakeswinner Kermiya. Cutadeel’s 2YO brother was a $90,000 buy for Lloyd Kennewell from Grenville Stud at the 2018 Magic Millions Tasmanian Sale.

Fourteen Dundeel yearlings are catalogued for the 2019 Magic Millions Sales, eight of them offered by Arrowfield.  

January 2YO winner opens Dundeel's account

It was Murray Baker who sent a 2YO son of High Chaparral to the races for the first time on 9 April 2012. That was Dundeel and his swooping win at Ellerslie that day was the start of a superlative career featuring six Group 1 victories. 

Today the champion New Zealand trainer, now working in partnership with Andrew Forsman, sent out his son Cutadeel at Tauranga for a group including owner-breeders Mike & Sharyn Craig who raced Dundeel and retain an interest in him. The result was a stylish victory for the colt, who is the first foal of Dineeta (by Dylan Thomas).

Watch Cutadeel win over 1200m at Tauranga.

“There was plenty in his trials to encourage us,” said Forsman. “I’m not sure he’s a natural two-year-old type, but he is a really nice horse.”

Dundeel’s first crop juveniles are being handled patiently but several have trialled, among them trial winners Marbuzet, unplaced behind Cutadeel at his raceday debut, and Sunreel, set to start at Wyong on Sunday for for Kris Lees. 

The progress of Dundeel’s first 2YOs can be judged by the response to his second-crop yearlings at Magic Millions last week. All but one of his eight lots sold, averaging more than 6 times his fee, with a top price of $280,000 achieved for Arrowfield’s colt ex Opportunity. He was purchased by DGR Thoroughbreds & Chris Anderson Racing.

Dundeel has 13 lots catalogued for next month’s Inglis Classic Sale, including three fillies and two colts in Arrowfield’s consignmentThe Stud will also offer 10 of the dozen yearlings by Dundeel at the Inglis Easter Sale in April.

Dundeel's half-brother wins impressively

Dundeel’s 4YO half-brother Diehard won at Pukekohe, New Zealand on Wednesday in the manner of a horse likely to make an impact over middle distances this season.

It was the fourth start for the son of Pour Moi and Stareel and capped his progress from educational 2YO start last December and two placings last month to stylish maiden winner.

Racing over 1600 metres on heavy ground, he settled back before improving wide around the turn. As his rivals began to struggle, Diehard began to do his best work and  picked up gamely to score by more than four lengths from Avant and Florence Ivy.

Watch Diehard win at Pukekohe.

Diehard’s owners include Arrowfield, Paul Favretto, Greg Ingham and his breeder Waimarama NZ Ltd, comprising several members of Dundeel’s racing partnership. He is trained by Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman who also prepared Dundeel to win six Group 1 races. 

Stareel has a 2YO colt by Redoute’s Choice, bought by Paul Perry for $1 million from Arrowfield’s Inglis Easter draft and a yearling filly by Redoute’s Choice that’s now in New Zealand. The now 17-year-old mare is due to foal again to the three-time Champion Sire this Spring. 

Like Dundeel, Pour Moi is a Derby-winning grandson of Sadler’s Wells who has left two Group 1 winners, 2YO Sacred Elixir in Australia, and this year’s Epsom Derby winner Wings Of Eagles in England.  

Fifty-three yearlings from Dundeel’s first crop sold for an average of $132,330, just over five times his fee, and he was the Magic Millions Leading First Crop Sire with an average price of $272,500. His top-priced yearling, the Miss Finland colt, was sold for $900,000 to Boomer Bloodstock and is in training with Bjorn Baker. 

Other stables with Dundeel 2YOs on the books include Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott, Chris Waller, Kris Lees, Anthony Freedman, Ciaron Maher and Mick Kent.

Lankan Rupee named Australian Racehorse of the Year

Arrowfield’s superstar sire Redoute’s Choice filled one of the few gaps in his lengthy CV on Thursday evening when his 4YO son Lankan Rupee was named 2013/14 racing.com Australian Racehorse of the Year.

The Teeley Assets homebred received 145 votes, ahead of the season’s Champion Stayer Fiorente (121) and Arrowfield’s latest stallion acquisition Dundeel (41), named Champion Middle Distance Horse of the Year.

He is the first Australian Racehorse of the Year by Redoute’s Choice, previously represented by Champion 2YO award winners Fashions Afield (2005) & Miss Finland (2006) and Champion 3YO Fillies Miss Finland (2007) & Samantha Miss (2009).

Lankan Rupee (ex Estelle Collection by Stravinsky) won $2.7 million and 7 of his eight starts last season, including three of Australia’s major sprints, the MRC Oakleigh Plate G1, VRC Newmarket H. G1 and ATC T.J. Smith S. G1. The latter performance earned him an international rating of 123, still the highest figure awarded in the Sprint category on the 2014 World’s Best Racehorse Rankings.

Lankan Rupee, foaled & raised at Arrowfield for Teeley Assets, is the second Arrowfield-sired performer to become Racehorse of the Year. Weekend Hussler (Hussonet-Weekend Beauty), also bred by the Stud, claimed the 2007/08 title. In addition, Arrowfield stood the shuttle stallion Last Tycoon in 1993/94, the year his son Mahogany became Racehorse of the Year.

Dundeel (High Chaparral-Stareel by Staring) received 126 votes in the Middle Distance category, ahead of Boban (85) and Atlantic Jewel (43). He signed off on a magnificent racing career with prizemoney of $3.4 million and victories in the year’s two highest-rated races, the MRC Underwood S. G1 and ATC Queen Elizabeth S. G1 – his fifth and sixth Group 1 wins.

Snitzel’s son Shamus Award won the Herald Sun Champion 3YO Colt of the Year title with 162 votes, from Zoustar (82) and Criterion (74) after a $2.3 million season. He made history by breaking his maiden in MVRC W.S. Cox Plate G1, defeating Happy Trails & Fiorente, and returned to cement his dominance of his generation with success in the VRC Australian Guineas G1.

Arrowfield Chairman John Messara accepted the award for Dundeel on behalf of trainer Murray Baker and the ownership group which includes breeders Murray & Jo Andersen.

John Messara also accepted the racing.com Champion Sire award for Redoute’s Choice. The mighty son of Danehill headed off his own son Snitzel and five other champion sires (Exceed and Excel, Fastnet Rock , Lonhro, O’Reilly and Encosta de Lago) with $10.3 million prizemoney and 10 stakeswinners in Australia, five of them from his remarkable 2009 crop.

It is the third time Redoute’s Choice has received Australia’s ultimate stallion accolade following his successes in 2006 and 2010.

Dundeel crowned NZ Horse of the Year

Dundeel added the final diamond to his champion’s crown when he was named the 2013/14 New Zealand Horse of the Year at the NZ Thoroughbred Racing Awards dinner in Hamilton on Thursday evening.

Dundeel, also named Champion Middle Distance Horse, was the world’s highest-rated New Zealand-bred horse last season, with an international figure of 122 and a Timeform rating of 129, both figures surpassed in Australia only by world champion sprinter Lankan Rupee. 

The voting panel’s verdict was decisive in Dundeel’s favour, with 28 votes cast for him and 18 votes for the outstanding mare Silent Achiever, who was recognised as New Zealand’s Champion Stayer.

Dundeel’s dam Stareel (Zabeel-Staring by Fiesta Star) was named Broodmare of the Year and that award was accepted by Murray and Jo Andersen who bred the sensational son of High Chaparral and raced him as part of the TransTasman Syndicate. Stareel visits champion sire Redoute’s Choice this Spring.

Murray described the award as a “dream come true. He has been a sensational horse, great for New Zealand and this is the pinnacle,”

Dundeel delivered two of Australia’s very best performances last season, beating the previously unbeaten champion mare Atlantic Jewel in the MRC Underwood S. G1 in the Spring, and returning in the Autumn to defeat Sacred Falls, Carlton House and Silent Achiever in the ATC Queen Elizabeth S. G1.

He retired to Arrowfield Stud with a record of 10 wins (six at Group 1 level), five placings (four in Group 1 company) & $5.3 million from 19 starts at two, three and four.

Dundeel will parade for the first time since his retirement at the Arrowfield Stallion Open House, 21-24 August – click here for more information.

Dundeel rated world's best NZ-bred performer

Six-time Group 1 winner Dundeel has been confirmed as the world’s best New Zealand-bred performer this season with an international rating of 122.

The latest LONGINES World’s Best Racehorse Rankings were released on Thursday by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities – click here for the list.

The 4YO son of High Chaparral and Stareel lowered the colours of previously unbeaten champion mare Atlantic Jewel in September’s MRC Underwood S. G1 over 1800 metres, and returned in the Autumn to defeat Sacred Falls, Carlton House and Silent Achiever in the ATC Queen Elizabeth S. G1.

The latter performance, in which Dundeel kicked clear off a punishing pace, ranks him second only to northern hemisphere 4YO Magician among the world’s best entires over 2000 metres on turf. Magician split two outstanding mares, The Fugue and Treve in last month’s Royal Ascot Prince of Wales’s S. G1 to earn a figure of 123.

In Australia and New Zealand, only the world’s top-rated sprinter Lankan Rupee (123), bred and raced in Australia by Teeley Assets, ranks above Dundeel, who joins Lankan Rupee’s champion sire Redoute’s Choice on the Arrowfield Stud roster this Spring. Dundeel retires with 10 wins, five placings and $5.3 million prizemoney from 19 starts at 2, 3 and four.

Sacred Falls is the only other Australasian performer to make the leading group of horses on the published world rankings with a figure of 120. He won the 1600-metre ATC Doncaster H. G1 for the second time this season, but has been rated on his Queen Elizabeth second behind Dundeel, in the Intermediate category (1900m-2100m).

Dundeel was bred in New Zealand by Hawke’s Bay couple Murray & Jo Andersen who raced him with Arrowfield, Tracy Andersen, Gavin Chaplow, Sharyn & Mike Craig, Tony & Wendy Craig, David & Jenny Morison, Tony Muollo & Dino Focas. He was prepared for that partnership by leading New Zealand trainers Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman, and ridden in all but one of his 19 career starts by the brilliant young Kiwi jockey James McDonald.

Te Rapa raceday celebrates Dundeel

All but one of his 19 starts were in Australia, and Arrowfield Stud now has a firm grip of his passport, but Kiwis remain rightly proud of Dundeel as a superstar born on their side of the Tasman. Not forgetting that he was bred, trained & ridden by New Zealanders, and mostly raced by them too.

Tomorrow the Waikato Racing Club will honour the six-time Group 1 winner with their Celebrating Dundeel Raceday at Te Rapa. Dundeel’s Hawke’s Bay owners, headed by his breeders Murray & Jo Andersen, are supporting races in the name of the champion’s strapper Emily Murphy, trainers Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman, his dam Stareel, Coolmore Stud (home of his sire High Chaparral) and Arrowfield.

Dundeel belongs to two illustrious lists, of champions born in the Waikato region, and Australian Group 1 winners trained at the Cambridge track. The former group includes Australian Horses of the Year Sunline, Might and Power, Octagonal, Bonecrusher, Red Anchor, Gurner’s Lane & Surround.

The latter group features Melbourne Cup winners Empire Rose, Jezabeel & Ethereal, brilliant sprinter-miler Our Westminister, Champagne (LKS MacKinnon Stakes), Domino (Australian Oaks), Giovana (Queensland Oaks), Prized Gem (Brisbane Cup), Nom du Jeu (Australian Derby), Sangster (Victoria Derby) and Lion Tamer (Victoria Derby & Underwood Stakes).

Three of the major players in last month’s $4 million ATC Queen Elizabeth S. G1 were prepared at Cambridge: Dundeel (1st), Sacred Falls (2nd) & Silent Achiever (4th).

Dundeel stands his first season at Arrowfield at a fee of $27,500 inc. GST.

It's A Dundeel triumphs at The Championships

It’s A Dundeel made history in Arrowfield’s famous black-and-yellow diamond silks on Saturday when he swept to his sixth Group 1 victory in the $4 million ATC Queen Elizabeth Stakes over 2000 metres at Royal Randwick.

A perfect climax to the first presentation of The Championships, the race matched its billing as the weight-for-age grand final of the Australian season.

It’s A Dundeel contributed to the drama when he slipped in the tie-up stalls before the race and lacerated his near hind fetlock and pastern. Passed fit to start by the stewards, he bounced brightly from barrier 1 and settled beautifully for James McDonald behind Carlton House and My Kingdom Of Fife, with the favourite Silent Achiever tracking him in fourth position.

As the field approached the turn, It’s A Dundeel began to ease forward. He got the better of My Kingdom Of Fife around the 400-metre mark, then set sail for the lead which he claimed from the resolute Carlton House 150 metres from home. Meanwhile, the outstanding two-time Doncaster Mile winner Sacred Falls had punched through from near the back of the field to challenge for the lead and the race, but It’s A Dundeel immediately answered McDonald’s call for a final championship kick to win by almost a length in 2:03.72.

Carlton House fought on well for third, 3 lengths away, with Silent Achiever fourth and Royal Descent (by Redoute’s Choice) fifth.

McDonald said, “We’ve worked all the autumn for this. When he worked on Tuesday, I got off and said they don’t work as good as the way he works, he was back to his best and it was so good to win today. This horse has taken me to heights I never thought I’d reach.”

It’s A Dundeel (High Chaparral-Stareel by Zabeel) was bred in New Zealand by Murray & Jo Andersen and is trained by Murray Baker for the partnership headed by Arrowfield, along with the Andersens and their original co-owners Tracy Andersen, Gavin Chaplow, Sharyn & Mike Craig, Tony & Wendy Craig, David & Jenny Morison, Tony Muollo & Dino Focas.

It’s A Dundeel has now won six Group 1 races from 1600 to 2400 metres across four campaigns at three and four. In all, he has won 10 and placed in five of his 19 starts, and today’s win takes his career prizemoney to $5,392,165.

The Queen Elizabeth Stakes was the fourth start this Autumn for It’s A Dundeel, after placings in the Chipping Norton S. 1600m G1, Ranvet S. 2000m G1 and The BMW 2400m G1. Today’s victory and his defeat of the previously unbeaten Atlantic Jewel in last Spring’s 1800-metre Underwood S. G1 surely make him a leading contender for both Australian & New Zealand Horse of the Year titles.

All systems go for It's A Dundeel

It’s A Dundeel is all systems go for what promises to be a highlight of the BMW Autumn Carnival, Saturday’s $500,000 ATC Ranvet S. G1 over 2000 metres at Rosehill.

That’s the clear message from the latest video in his online Diary, following his Autumn campaign through to the ATC Queen Elizabeth S. G1 at Randwick on the final day of The Championships, 19 April.

View the latest It’s A Dundeel video here.

The 4YO entire opened his Autumn campaign with a one-length second to specialist miler Boban in the Chipping Norton Stakes G1 on 8 March at Warwick Farm. This time he meets the outstanding Melbourne and Australian Cup winner Fiorente.

Interviewed after the 4YO entire’s gallop in company over 1600 metres on the course proper at Warwick Farm, trainer Murray Baker said, “Dundeel pulled up well from the Chipping Norton, we’re very happy with him.

“He’s derived considerable improvement from that first race and stepping up to 2000 metres, a fit horse, it should suit him better. I think Dundeel will continue to improve, he just needs a bit of racing, being a four-year-old, a little bit older, and he’s certainly on the improve the last couple of weeks.”

Arrowfield is the majority owner of the son of High Chaparral who will wear the Stud’s famous black and yellow silks for the second time on Saturday.

James McDonald, his jockey in all but one of his previous 16 starts, will once again have the ride. The pair will jump from barrier 1 in the nine-horse field, which also includes last year’s Ranvet Stakes winner Foreteller, Hawkspur (3rd in the Chipping Norton), Silent Achiever (dominant last start winner of the ARC New Zealand S. G1) and Her Majesty the Queen’s proven Group 1 performer Carlton House.

The last time It’s A Dundeel raced at Rosehill, he romped to victory in the 2013 Rosehill Guineas G1, beating subsequent Doncaster Handicap G1 winner Sacred Falls by almost 7 lengths.

However, his trainer anticipates a much closer battle this time. “He’s pretty well, he looks good in the coat. Dundeel’s got a good turn of foot as we know, Fiorente is an excellent stayer. It should be a good tussle.”

Smart Starcraft fillies take off

Interest in Starcraft’s 21 yearlings at the upcoming Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale has been sharpened by a trio of smart fillies from his 2010 crop.

On Thursday at Bendigo, Leia (ex Gibraltar Campion by Rock of Gibraltar) finished strongly over 1000 metres for her second win in four starts from the Leon Corstens stable.

Purchased by Spicer Thoroughbreds for $220,000 from the Arrowfield draft at the 2012 Inglis Easter Sale, Leia’s Spring campaign was derailed by a virus, but she looks ready to progress further this Autumn. Brad Spicer reports that a start at Moonee Valley next Friday evening is the next possibility for her.

Leia’s full sister, described by Arrowfield’s Sam Fairgray as “a lovely type, a fluent mover with great balance and a nice pedigree to match”, is Lot 280 at Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale which begins on 4 March. View the Arrowfield draft  here.

In New Zealand on Wednesday, Astardia (ex Ransom Claim by Red Ransom) put up a performance reminiscent of the maiden win of her famous stablemate It’s A Dundeel, when she swept from the back of the field to win handily over 1600 metres at Pukekohe.  Watch the race here.

Astardia, a grand-daughter of 2YO stakeswinner and Golden Slipper placegetter Loving Cup, was purchased by trainer Murray Baker for $65,000 from the Wellfield Lodge draft at the 2012 New Zealand Premier Sale. She is raced by long-time Baker stable client John Rattray, who also raced Group 2 winner Fatal and Group 1 winner Dowry (now an Arrowfield broodmare), in partnership with Alastair Lawrence and Dave Mitchell.

John Rattray says of Astardia, “She’s a very nicely put together filly with a beautiful temperament and I liked the way she flattened out over the last 100 metres.” Likely races for her now include the Lowland Stakes G3 at Hastings on 1 March or the Sunline Vase G3 at Ellerslie on 5 March.

The Baker stable has good experience with the Starcraft tribe after preparing his daughter We Can Say It Now to win twice at Group 1 level.

Last Thursday at Seymour another 3YO Starcraft filly, Choose (ex Choices Are by Redoute’s Choice) turned in a determined effort to win comfortably on debut. Choose was an $80,000 buy for trainers Lee & Shannon Hope from the 2012 New Zealand Ready to Run Sale and is from a three-quarter sister to Group 3 winner and Blue Diamond G1 runner-up Shaaheq.

The Melbourne Premier catalogue includes two colts bred on the Starcraft-Redoute’s Choice cross, Arrowfield’s Lot 46, from Any Other Day,  here; and Supreme Thoroughbreds’ Lot 254, from Fair Choice,  here.