It's A Dundeel is shaping up favourably against recent Victoria Derby winners as he takes his next step at Canterbury, Sydney, today.
The Murray Baker-trained colt made a winning introduction to Australian racing at Wyong two weeks ago and has been kept to midweek company, albeit against older horses, in the Australian Turf Club Hcp (1580m).
The Cambridge colt, who has had a name change from Dundeel since his Wyong win, has continued to please in his temporary home at the Warwick Farm stables of Baker's son Bjorn.
Baker jnr said today's event fitted in nicely with the colt's likely programme, instead of a race such as the listed Ming Dynasty Quality (1400m) against his own age on Saturday.
"He's probably looking for that bit further and his main aim in Sydney is the Spring Champion Stakes, all going well," Baker said.
"This race fits in in terms of going to the Gloaming Stakes and, hopefully, the Spring Champion."
The past three Victoria Derby winners - Sangster (2011), the Baker family-trained Lion Tamer (2010) and Monaco Consul (2009) - have all been from Waikato.
"The past three years horses from New Zealand have come through Sydney on their way to Melbourne and at the same stage his profile is definitely as good as Sangster and Monaco Consul," Baker said.
He said there was always a bit of concern with horses second-up from a spell but the son of High Chaparral had thrived in Sydney.