Known as Dundeel in New Zealand and It’s a Dundeel in Australia, the talented son of High Chaparral was one of the best age-group stayers in Australasian history.
Although he was sent to the breeding barn relatively early, he made an everlasting impact in Australia in taking out the time-honoured races.
Following his race career, Dundeel has left many Group 1 horses, including Super Seth and Castelvecchio. He continues to be a go-to for many broodmares and his stud career speaks for itself.
The son of High Chaparral started his career with five consecutive victories, kicking off at Ellerslie in New Zealand.
He won a maiden race with James McDonald on board before heading to Australia after only one local start. Most talented Kiwi runners have around five runs at home before making the trip across the Tasman, but it shows how confident Murray Baker was.
Dundeel won his next four Australian starts, including wins at Wyong, Canterbury and Randwick. His fifth win came in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes, which has launched the careers of many champion thoroughbreds.
He defeated Proisir in a big battle down the Randwick straight before trying his hand in Melbourne. It wasn’t success at first for Dundeel, after running second in the in the Michelton Wines Vase at Group 2 level.
His ultimate target was the Victoria Derby but he didn’t quite see out the distance. Upon returning to Sydney, his form improved significantly and now the Guineas races were on the radar.
After running fourth in the Hobartville, some punters had lost faith in Dundeel. However, he won the Randwick Guineas and Rosehill Guineas in succession. He then tested himself agaisnt the older horses and ran second behind Reliable Man in the Queen Elizabeth.
His four-year-old season kicked off with a fourth in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes before winning the Underwood Stakes at Caulfield. His next target would be the Cox Plate, but it didn’t end well for Dundeel fans. He finished eighth behind Shamus Award and was subsequently given a spell.
A stud career was beckoning for Dundeel but connections wanted one more Group 1 success. He lined up in the Chipping Norton, Ranvet and The BMW; which all resulted in minor placings.
His final race came in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick and he ended his career in fine style. The incredible win came over the likes of Sacred Falls and the Queen’s runner, Carlton House. It was his best career win before heading to stud.
He ended his career with 10 wins from 19 starts and more than $5.3 million in the bank.
The team behind Dundeel
Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman trained the age-group superstar. Baker had trained many Australian Group 1 winners in the past, but Dundeel was one of his best.
A sizable group of owners were involved with Dundeel, but his interests were taken over by Arrowfield, which included a stud deal.
James McDonald rode him in all but one of his career starts; his first Queen Elizabeth Stakes in 2013.
Dundeel’s Achievements and Statistics
Awards came thick and fast for Dundeel, who recorded a total of seven awards throughout his career. Most notably, he won the New Zealand Champion Thoroughbred of the Year in 2014, and also the Champion Middle Distance Horse.
In that same year, he also won the Australian Champion Middle Distance Racehorse.
Race record: 10 wins from 19 starts
Career earnings: $5,392,165
Group 1 wins: 6
Breeding: High Chaparral x. Stareel
Trainer: Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman
Jockey: James McDonald
Breeders: Murray and Jo Andersen
Owners: Arrowfield Stud
Years active: 2012-2014