Outstanding 3-year-old Dundeel, who is 50 per cent owned by Hawke's Bay people, will now be aimed at the Group 2 A$200,000 ($319,000) Gloaming Stakes (1800m) at Randwick on September 22 after recording his third win in as many starts last Wednesday.
The High Chaparral colt produced an amazing effort to come from a seemingly hopeless position on the home turn and win a Benchmark 70 race over 1580m on the Canterbury track in Sydney.
The big-striding Dundeel was unsuited by the tight turning track, was racing over a distance well short of his best and taking on the older horses for the first time. He was outpaced in the early stages and giving the leaders a big head-start when clearly unbalanced making the final bend. But once in the straight he unleashed a huge finish under the urgings of Kiwi jockey James McDonald to get up and snatch a last-stride win.
It was almost a carbon copy of his performance when winning at his Australian debut, over 1350 metres at Wyong on August 22. He was also impressive when successful at his first start, in a 1200-metre maiden race at Ellerslie in April, and is rated by McDonald as one of the best horses he has ridden.
The colt is trained at Cambridge by Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman, who hold him in such high regard that they have nominated him for the Group 1 A$1.5 million VRC Derby (2500m) in Melbourne on November 3.
Dundeel is raced by the Transtasman Syndicate, a group set up by the horse's Havelock North breeder Murray Andersen. He and his wife Jo have retained a 20 per cent shareholding. Their daughter Tracy and her husband Gavin Chaplow have a 10 per cent share, as do two other Havelock North couples, Mike and Sharon Craig and Dave and Jenny Morrison.
The other 50 per cent shareholding is split between Tony Muollo (Wellington), Tony and Jenny Joyce (Wellington), Max and Jo Brown (Wellington), Dino and Ange Focas (Gold Coast) and Tony and Jana Muollo (Sydney).
Dundeel has been renamed It's A Dundeel in Australia to avoid confusion with an Australian galloper by the name of Done Deal.
Plans are for the colt to go on to the Group 1 A$400,000 Spring Championship Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on October 6, after the Gloaming Stakes, and a decision will then be made whether to contest the weight-for-age Group 1 A$3 million Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 27, before the VRC Derby.
Dundeel is out of the Zabeel mare Stareel. She was unraced but is a daughter of Staring, who won eight races, including the Group 1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m).
Stareel has also left the good performer, Twoeezy, who won six races and was stakes placed, and Vaayala, who has recorded a win and three minor placings from just five starts.
The Andersens now have a yearling filly by Nom du Jeu out of Stareel.
Seven-year-old wins his first race
It is not often a horse wins its first race as a 7-year-old but that is what the Hawke's Bay-owned and bred Ripdiddler did at last Thursday's Otaki meeting.
The Istidaad gelding was having just his fourth start and took out a maiden 2100-metre event by three-quarters of a length.
Ripdiddler is owned by Waipawa couple John and Jan Frizzell, who bred the gelding out of the Spectacular Love mare Swift Encounter.
It is a family that the Frizzells have raced with success for many years, with Swift Encounter winning two races, and her dam, Indian Swift, the winner of six.
John Frizzell said this week Ripdiddler was always a big horse that was going to need time but had also suffered a number of injuries along the way, which delayed his racing career.
The Frizzells originally took in well-known equestrian rider Harvey Wilson as a 50 per cent shareholder in the horse and he prepared him for a time from his Bulls stable. But a leg injury saw the gelding sidelined for a year and, just when he was coming right, he put his hip out and had to be turned out again.
Mike Seymour, a horse chiropractor and partner of Foxton trainer Christine Eagle, then worked on the horse to get him back to full fitness.
Wilson relinquished his share and Christine Eagle now trains the horse for the Frizzells.
They are also racing a five-year-old half-brother to Ripdiddler, called Hunky Dory, and have a yearling gelding by Captain Rio out of Swift Encounter coming on.