Wow! He’s the real “Deel”

Cambridge galloper (Its’ A) Dundeel stamped himself as one of the best three-year-olds to come out of New Zealand for a long time when he annihilated his opposition in the Gr.1 $A1.5 million ATC Australian Derby at Rosehill today.

Dundeel was backed as though unbeatable, starting as the $1.25 favourite, and he certainly lived up to his support, giving his fans no cause for concern as he toyed with his rivals over the concluding stages.

After ambling along in the rear group, Dundeel was still giving the leaders a sizable start with half the 2400-metre journey run. But when rider James McDonald gave him a bit more rein coming to the home turn it was obvious he was going to win.

Dundeel cruised around the field and with McDonald barely riding him hands and heels and giving him flick or two on the shoulder with the whip he raced away to score effortlessly by six lengths from Philippi, who was the second favourite at $9.50.

Dundeel became just the fifth horse to complete Sydney’s Triple Crown and the first since the mighty Octagonal. Moorland won the Triple Crown in 1943, then Martello Towers followed in 1959, Imagele in 1973 and Octagonal in 1996.

Nobody was surprised by the win, but what did amaze some racegoers was the ease of the victory.

“He did it pretty easily, didn’t he?” said co-trainer Murray Baker, who also won the race with Nom du Jeu. “He’s so relaxed and so laid back. It takes a very good horse to win three Group Ones in a row in Sydney. I think he could be the best horse I’ve had.”

Dundeel has actually won four Group One races in Sydney, having picked up th Spring Champion Stakes last October before his Triple Crown which included wins in the Randwick and Rosehill Guineas.

McDonald, who added further Cambridge flavour to the Derby win being a local lad, was in awe of Dundeel.

“Man, what a performance! That was McDonald’s comment after the win. “I don’t think I’ve ever won a race so easily and it was Group One. He’s a super colt and he’s going to take me everywhere.”

But McDonald will have to watch from he stands if a decision is made to back Dundeel up in the Gr.1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 17. McDonald copped two suspensions from last weekend’s Golden Slipper meeting.

Two rides certain to be at the top of the list for the Dundeel mount are Hugh Bowman and Michael Rodd. Bowman rode Lion Tamer to an easy win in the 2010 Victoria Derby for the Baker stable and Rodd’s wins for Baker include the Brisbane Cup and Kelt Capital Stakes on Prized Gem.

Baker isn’t in a hurry to make a decision on the Queen Elizabeth start. “We’ll make a decision on that in the middle of next week,” he said. Then he added with a grin, “I don’t think he was taxed too much today.”

Dundeel added to an amazing Group One haul for the Cambridge training centre. His win today took Cambridge’s tally to 13, three ahead of the record season of 2010-11 when the centre had seven Group One winners.

Dundeel must now rate as a raging favourite to win the Cambridge Horse Of The Year title and his popularity in Australia has seen him installed equal favourite for th Cox Plate in October.