The Black Book: Eye on a Dundeel on debut

4 min read

By Anthony Manton

The Black Book will identify race performances around Australia particularly worth following in the future. These may be high profile runners at trials and smaller tracks, or eye-catching performances, we'll aim to give you a horse to add to your pedigree or performance black book for the future.

While the attention on 2-year-old racing may be focused on Randwick and Caulfield on Saturday, Newcastle trainer Paul Perry has been quietly bringing along a Dundeel (NZ) (High Chaparral {Ire}) colt that looks to have his fair share of ability.

Pandano will debut on his home track in race three, the 2-year-old Maiden Plate over 1200 metres with Bobby El-Issa booked to ride from barrier eight.

Pandano first stepped out publicly at Gosford trials on December 18 over 800 metres, showing early speed to win the heat in style without being asked for much effort.

At his second barrier trial at Wyong on January 9, Pandano was visually impressive again. This time he was held back slightly after the start and given time to settle off the pace before working-up alongside the leader and coasting to the line to win.

Bred by Arrowfield Stud, Pandano was sold to Paul Perry at the 2018 Inglis Classic Yearling Sale for $130,000. Arrowfield has retained a share in the colt to race with Perry along with loyal clients to the stable of Steve Gillard and his wife Louise.

Pandano as a yearling

“We always really liked him and Paul [Perry] hadn’t fully sold him so we were keen to stay involved with the colt,” said Arrowfield General Manager Paul Messara.

Pandano is the fourth foal to race from Milanesa (Snitzel) herself raced by Arrowfield and trained by Paul Messara to be a winner at two.

“We always really liked him and Paul [Perry] hadn’t fully sold him so we were keen to stay involved with the colt." - Paul Messara

Arrowfield purchased Milanesa at the 2009 Magic Millions Yearling Sale for $230,000 and Messara believes she never reached her full potential on the track, with her career cut short due to injury.

“Milanesa had a huge amount of ability but unfortunately she chipped a knee one day and was forced into early retirement”.

“The day she won at Eagle Farm was one of the most amazing wins of any horse I’ve ever trained, to win from where she came from was quite extraordinary. She beat a horse called Startsmeup (Danzero) who was multiple stakes-placed and later ran in an Australian Guineas,” said Messara.

Arrowfield stallion, Dundeel

Messara says this Dundeel colt has been the pick of the four foals on the ground from the mare; so much so that Milanesa is currently in foal to Dundeel again.

“Milanesa herself was a magnificent type but her early foals didn’t have the same presence until this colt came along, so we sent her to Dundeel again on the back of this colt,” said Messara.

“Milanesa herself was a magnificent type but her early foals didn’t have the same presence until this colt came along." - Paul Messara

Being by a Derby winner in Dundeel, Saturday’s race over 1200 metres may prove to be shorter than the ideal distance, but Messara believes Pandano will be competitive.

“His trials have been sharp and he’s precocious enough to be right up there”.

“Being a Dundeel he’s probably more of a 3-year-old and whatever he does on Saturday he’ll be much better next preparation with time to develop,” said Messara.


Dundeel, whose oldest progeny are 3-year-olds, has produced three individual stakes-winners in his first two crops to race and Messara has been delighted with the support from breeders.

“Dundeel is doing really well and his book size is getting bigger each year which is really positive,” said Messara.

Dundeel showed early ability when siring a stakeswinning 2-year-old in his first season, with Irukandji taking out the G3 The Schweppervescence at Rosehill in 2018.

More recently The Inevitable won the Listed Tasmanian Guineas in early January taking his record to four wins from just five starts. The Inevitable was a $90,000 purchase at the 2017 Magic Millions Adelaide Yearling Sale and has already amassed almost $120,000 in prize money.

Meanwhile in New Zealand, Cutadeel (Dundeel) won the Listed Barefoot & Thompson Salver 2100 metres at Ellerslie in December. Trained by Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman, Cutadeel is now considered a genuine Derby contender both in New Zealand and Australia.

Additionally, last Friday night at Canterbury, 2-year-old debutant Castelvecchio (Dundeel) produced a remarkable last to first performance to win. He is now rated amongst the leading chances for next month's $2,000,000 Inglis Millennium at Warwick Farm.

“Dundeel has already had a few stakes winners so it would be great to turn one of those stakes winners into a Group 1 winner,” said Messara.