Caviar presence overshadows Derby hot-pot
Caryl Williamson
18:16 AEST Wed Apr 10 2013

On any other race day, It's A Dundeel would be the shortest-priced favourite on the card.

At Randwick on Saturday, that honour will go to Black Caviar in the TJ Smith Stakes with the Australian Derby favourite playing second fiddle to the great mare.

He will, however, still start odds-on to be the shortest priced winner of the Australian Derby (2400m) for 25 years.

Beau Zam won in 1988 at $1.25, the price on offer for It's A Dundeel on Wednesday with Philippi next at $8.

Although the markets say he is over the line to complete the triple crown of the Randwick Guineas, Rosehill Guineas and the Derby for New Zealander Murray Baker, rival trainers are optimistic about their charges.

John O'Shea saddles Kingdoms, a $41 chance he believes can make his presence felt.

"I'd be disappointed if didn't run in the money," O'Shea said.

"I do know he will run a strong 2400 metres.

"He will be better ridden back rather than the way things happened in the Rosehill Guineas."

Kingdoms finished fourth, almost nine lengths from It's A Dundeel in the Rosehill Guineas after being up near the lead for most of the race.

The complexion of the Derby changed on Monday night when Fiveandahalfstar was withdrawn with a fetlock injury.

The natural front-runner led all the way to win the Victoria Derby and was viewed as the only threat to the favourite.

O'Shea said it was disappointing he wasn't there.

"He would have made it a genuine mile-and-a-half test," O'Shea said.

It's A Dundeel was the unplaced favourite in the Victoria Derby, raising questions about his ability to stay the distance.

But like Kingdoms, he is by High Chaparral as are Derby rivals Hippopus and High Shot.

Baker believes It's A Dundeel is a much stronger colt this autumn than he in the spring.

"People keep saying he's small but he's not that small," he said.

"He is very well put together and stronger than he was in the spring when the Derby came at the end of a hard campaign."

It's A Dundeel is in the care of Baker's Sydney-based trainer-son Bjorn who is pleased with his progression since the Rosehill Guineas but is still cautious.

"It's a Group One race. It's a Derby. You don't take those lightly," he said.

"I'm not going to say he will win. I will say he's done everything right and all's well with him."

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