For the second year in a row Michael Rodd is expected to end the Sydney autumn carnival with a Group One win on a horse considered one of racing’s next big stars.
Last year Rodd partnered outstanding filly Atlantic Jewel to her seventh consecutive win and second Group One in the All Aged Stakes.
Atlantic Jewel has not raced since but is set for a return in the new season.
This year, It’s A Dundeel has emerged as the horse everyone’s talking about.
His stunning autumn carnival form has earned him the three-year-old triple crown, winning his past two Group Ones by a combined 12-3/4 lengths.
Rodd rides It’s A Dundeel in Saturday’s Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) in a one-off with the colt’s regular jockey James McDonald suspended.
“It’s the best pick up I’ll ever get,” Rodd said.
“It’s James’s toy but I’m just happy to have one little spin on him.”
Rodd rode It’s A Dundeel in a gallop on Tuesday and believes only bad luck stands in the way of the colt notching his fifth Group One and first against older horses.
“I’ve just got to have average luck and stay out of trouble and should be home and hosed,” he said.
It’s A Dundeel is then expected to be set for the spring and is already favourite for the Cox Plate, where Rodd hopes to ride against colt when he gets back on Atlantic Jewel.
In a blog last week for Racing Victoria, Rodd said Atlantic Jewel was “streets ahead” of any horse he had ridden.
He’ll no doubt be asked for comparisons should It’s A Dundeel romp home on Saturday.