Racing: Kiwi still real Derby deal

By Mike Dillon

If you have already backed It's A Dundeel in Saturday's A$1.5 million Victoria Derby, panic not.

Co-trainer Murray Baker is not at all concerned the 3-year-old finished only second as hot favourite at Moonee Valley on Saturday.

It's A Dundeel loomed up to win for James McDonald, but couldn't keep going and was clearly beaten.

"To be honest I thought it was a very good run," said Baker.

"James said he came off the bit through real fitness and he battled a bit late.

"He also said the extra distance [2500m] this time will suit."

The timing of It's A Dundeel for his 2040m and for Ocean Park's Cox Plate victory is interesting.

"They ran the Cox Plate in 2:04.14 and It's A Dundeel's race was run in 2:08.25," said Baker. "But the last 600m of the Cox Plate was 36.86 and in my race it was 35.45, so it was a sprint home. That made it very difficult to run on in a sprint home.

"That was his first race left-handed, which was also the reason we started in this race." Things were better for the Baker-Forsman stable when Neo won the Guineas at Wellington.

"He deserved that, he was three wide when he got beaten last start."

That was Baker's 1000th winner. He remembers his first of that 1000 - Vizier in a non-tote 2-year-old race at Otaki in the late 1970s.

"He went on to beat Uncle Remus in the Jackson Stakes as a 3-year-old."

Further north, a $425,000 buy entitles you to some expectations but, of course, not always.

Bounding looked exceptional in her winning debut at Ellerslie on Saturday, running past favourite Catalonia easily in the home straight.

Greyhound icon Gary Harding paid the big price for the Lohnro filly at the Sydney Easter Sales this year.

- NZ Herald

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