Dundeel for Queen Elizabeth

Dundeel, the latest Kiwi to rock the Australian scene, has had an extension to his Sydney campaign.

Co-trainer Murray Baker has confirmed Dundeel (who races in Australia as It’s A Dundeel), will take on the older horses in the Gr.1 $A500,000 Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick on Saturday week.

“At this stage it’s very likely he’ll start in the Queen Elizabeth and Michael Rodd has been engaged to ride him,” said Baker. “Rodd will also ride Usainity for me the same day in the Frank Packer Plate.”

There has been speculation over a tilt at the Queen Elizabeth for Dundeel since his amazingly easy win in the Gr.1 Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick last Saturday. The other speculation has been over the rider to replace the suspended James McDonald with Hugh Bowman also being in the mix.

“He had a pretty soft win and he’s bounced through it,” said Baker. “Emily, my girl looking after him over there, was riding him along the riverbank at Warwick Farm today and couldn’t get over how well he felt. It would be great if he could finish off this season with five Group One wins.”

Dundeel won the Gr.1 Spring Champion Stakes in Sydney last October and has picked up a Gr.1 hat trick this campaign, preceding his Derby win with victories in the Randwick and Rosehill Guineas.

Dundeel stamped himself as extra special when thrashing his rivals in last Saturday’s Gr.1 Australian Derby, racing away to win virtually untouched by McDonald to score by seven lengths. He became the first horse since the champion Octagonal to complete the Sydney Triple Crown.

“I’ve been told he ran the last furlong quicker than Black Caviar did when she won the T.J. Smith,” said Baker. “And he did it easing down.

“I’ve had some top horses over the years and I don’t get carried away, but he’s in a league of his own.”

The Baker and Rodd combination has proved a successful one with the Cambridge trainer putting the top Australian hoop on a successful Group One path when providing him with his first two Group One wins aboard Prized Gem in the 2002 Brisbane Cup and the Kelt Capital Stakes. Rodd has also won the Karaka Million on the Baker-trained The Heckler and the Gr.1 Underwood Stakes on stablemate Lion Tamer.

Unsainity, a last-start runner-up to Survived in the Gr.3 Higgins Manawatu Classic, is booked to be flown to Sydney next Monday night and provided he acquits himself well in the Frank Packer Plate he will travel on to Brisbane.

“If he does well over there we’ve got to look at the Queensland Derby,” said Baker.