It’s A Dundeel will start his autumn campaign as the horse most trainers would like in their stable heading into a racing carnival offering $30 million in stakes.
And with four weight-for-age races on It’s A Dundeel’s autumn timetable worth a combined $6.5 million, it’s not hard too see why Murray Baker is the envy of Australasia’s best trainers.
On the eve of his return in the Chipping Norton Stakes – the first of 21 Group One races decided in Sydney between Saturday and the end of next month – a snap poll of prominent trainers says It’s A Dundeel will emerge as the star of The Championships.
Among It’s A Dundeel’s fans is Chris Waller who will saddle up three of the horse’s Chipping Norton rivals at Warwick Farm on Saturday – Boban, Hawkspur and Moriarty.
He named It’s A Dundeel at the top of his autumn wish list. And not just for his racetrack value.
“He’s a superstar,” Waller said. “And he’s got testicles.”
Trainer Guy Walter was expected to offer some opposition in the Chipping Norton with in-form mare Appearance but she won’t run after suffering a minor setback.
He also has Streama, Toydini and ATC Oaks prospect Zanbagh on his autumn team.
But if he could add another horse from outside his stable it would be It’s A Dundeel.
“He’s got class written all over him. He’s a top horse,” Walter said.
In a season when many believe the middle-distance, weight-for-age ranks lack depth, trainer Gerald Ryan says It’s A Dundeel’s acceleration makes him a stand-out.
“The opposition he’s going to be coming up against, it’s not crash-hot and he’s got a great turn of foot,” Ryan said.
It’s A Dundeel is an odds-on favourite to win his sixth Group One race when he resumes in the Chipping Norton.
Gai Waterhouse can offer the strongest resistance to It’s A Dundeel with an enviable team spearheaded by Melbourne Cup winner Fiorente.
She may have had him in mind when deciding she didn’t need to bolster the stocks of Tulloch Lodge.
“I don’t long for other horses, I’m happy with my team,” said Waterhouse as she prepares to run Glencadam Gold and Order Of The Sun against It’s A Dundeel at Warwick Farm.