The addition of blinkers gave brilliant High Chaparral (Sadler’s Wells – Kasora, by Darshaan) colt It’s A Dundeel (High Chaparral – Stareel, by Zabeel) an extra facet to his already impressive arsenal, which came in handy in Saturday’s Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) at Warwick Farm.
It’s A Dundeel showed class, acceleration and staying ability in his spring campaign, which reaped a Group 3 win in the Gloaming Stakes (1800m) as well as a victory in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m). Defeats in Melbourne ended It’s A Dundeel’s 2012 campaign but a solid fourth after getting out of his ground in the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) showed the colt had returned in great order.
It’s A Dundeel’s trainer Murray Baker said the outstanding galloper had worked in blinkers previously but not raced in them. They had the desired effect as It’s A Dundeel jumped much better and raced beyond midfield but closer than usual for jockey James McDonald.
McDonald weaved It’s A Dundeel through the field to be near the leaders rounding the home turn before his electrifying sprint, so often used to make up ground, sent him clear of his opposition at the 300 metres.
High-class colt Proisir (Choisir – Prophet’s Jewel, by Encosta De Lago) refused to give in over the last furlong, which kept him with a half-length but he was unable to stop It’s A Dundeel joining Shoot Out (High Chaparral – Pentamerous, by Pentire) as a son of High Chaparral that claimed the Randwick Guineas.
Baker said the blinkers may not remain as part of It’s A Dundeel’s armoury as he heads to the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) and Group 1 ATC Australian Derby, which Shoot Out also won in 2010.
“I thought the blinkers would help, especially at Warwick Farm,” Baker said. “He’s worked in them on and off in New Zealand but it’s hard to tell because he doesn’t do much on the track.
“It’s nice to know he can race in them but whether we keep them on or not we’ll decide later.
“I knew once he got to the front they wouldn’t peg him back.”
Baker said adding the Randwick Guineas to his many Australian Group 1 wins, including the ATC Australian Derby with Nom Du Jeu (Montjeu – Prized Gem, by Prized) and Victoria Derby with Lion Tamer (Storming Home – Lioness, by Generous), only enhanced the pleasure he got out of crossing the Tasman Sea to conduct raids on the local prizemoney.
“I love racing my horses here,” Baker said. “The money’s good, the jockeys are good and I wish someone would send some to New Zealand and show them how it’s done.”
It’s A Dundeel is one of eight Group 1 winners, all male, sired by High Chaparral. The colt is a son of Stareel (Zabeel – Staring, by Fiesta Star), who is out of the dual Group 1 winner Staring (Fiesta Star – Sweet Violet, by In The Purple), who won the New Zealand Oaks and Auckland Classic in her racing days.