The addition of blinkers for the first time helped It's a Dundeel to victory over highly regarded Proisir in the Randwick Guineas (Aus-I) March 16 at Warwick Farm.
Better known for his late-kicking style, It's a Dundeel was fitted with blinkers to help him stay in touch with the front-runners as he shortened up for Guineas, and the plan worked to perfection. He added a second goup I win to his record.
Jockey James McDonald had It's a Dundeel ideally positioned closer than usual to the pace, and the High Chaparral colt willingly struck for the lead entering the stretch. He repelled a determined challenge from Proisir from the 200-meter mark to win by a half-length.
Pacesetter Tatra finish three lengths back in third, while favorite Rebel Dane finished fourth after racing with the leader early in the quality field of 10.
It's a Dundeel was timed in 1:35.14 for the 1,600 meters (about one mile) and snapped a three-race winless stretch that included a seventh-place finish as the favorite in the AAMI Victoria Derby (Aus-I) last November at Flemington.
A New Zealand-bred colt, It's a Dundeel launched his racing career with five consecutive wins capped by the 2000-meter (about 1 1/4-mile) Spring Champion Stakes (Aus-I) over Proisir in October at Randwick.
His Victoria Derby loss was bookended by runner-up finish in the M. V. Mitchelton Vines Vase (Aus-II) Oct. 27 and a third behind last season's Australian champion 2-year-old Pierro and Rebel Dane in the Hobartville Stakes (Aus-II) March 2 following a three-month layoff. He was fresh and ready to race in the Guineas.
"He feels so strong much stronger and he put himself in the race and showed a real good turn of foot," trainer Murray Baker told Australia's Associated Press about It's a Dundeel.
It's a Dundeel is out of the Zabeel mare Stareel. His grandam is 1993 New Zealand champion filly and classic winner Staring.
Coolmore's Irish-based Australian shuttler High Chaparral has 2010 Randwick Guineas winner Shoot Out as well as the top-notch So You Think among his South Hemisphere-bred progeny.