It’s A Dundeel appears the biggest threat to fellow unbeaten colt Proisir in the Group One Spring Champion Stakes after his impressive display to take out Saturday’s Gloaming Stakes at Randwick.
The New Zealand colt maintained his unbeaten record as he came from last in the Group Three 1800m contest to defeat Honorius ($7) by 1-1/4-lengths with Lunar Rise ($3.50 fav) a head away third.
It’s A Dundeel, who started $4 in the Gloaming, is on the second line of betting for the Group One Spring Champion (2000m) at Randwick on October 6 behind Wednesday’s 5-3/4-length Spring Stakes winner Proisir who is an odds-on favourite.
“He’s improved a lot and the bigger track helped him a lot,” winning jockey James McDonald said.
“It was 1800 metres today and 2000 metres is going to be his best friend.
“He just keeps going the right way and that’s all you can ask.”
McDonald admitted he wasn’t always confident on It’s A Dundeel as he spotted his rivals a decent start after Jim Cassidy strung the field out in front on Strength.
But It’s A Dundeel powered home over the final 200m to claim his fourth win from as many starts.
“He’s making the right progression towards the Spring Champion,” McDonald said.
McDonald, however, admitted the colt would need to continue on his upward spiral to take on Proisir next time out.
“Obviously he’s outstanding so my bloke is going to have to probably make up another six lengths,” he said.
Trainer Murray Baker has had plenty of success bringing stayers to Australia and said it was the “sign of a good horse” that It’s A Dundeel had continued to step up in class and win.
“I think he’s a promising stayer and should run the Derby distance,” he said.
The David Payne-trained Honorius and the Bart Cummings-prepared Lunar Rise are also Spring Champion-bound.
“He’ll be better over 2000 metres,” stable foreman James Cummings said of Lunar Rise.
“But Proisir is the one to beat.”