Rising jockey James McDonald described It’s A Dundeel as the ‘ultimate race horse’ as the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival preparations for the three-year-old Triple Crown winner heat up.
McDonald has been working with It’s A Dundeel since returning from the United Kingdom last Tuesday and said he is delighted with the condition of the colt, who has already ridden to Group 1 glory on four occasions.
McDonald rode It’s A Dundeel to victory in the Randwick Guineas (1600m), Rosehill Guineas (2000m) and Australian Derby (2400m) during the 2013 Autumn Racing Carnival and believes the son of High Chaparral has come on since his last preparation.
“He’s come back a more professional horse, he’s grown and he’s strengthened up,” McDonald told the New Zealand Racing Desk.
“He’s come back a bigger horse and I think his action has improved.
“He has a presence about him, I couldn’t be happier.”
McDonald spent a two month stint in the United Kingdom working with trainer Charlie Hills and had the unique honor of riding a horse owned by The Queen during the prestigious Royal Ascot meeting.
The young jockey told The New Zealand Racing Desk he believes he has returned home a much better rider and said he is very grateful to have been given the phenomenal opportunity.
“If any jockey gets the opportunity to go over there they should, you learn so much,” McDonald said.
“You won’t come home with a lot of money, given the prize money is so poor, but the racing is really good, especially over summer when all the best horses are out.
“Royal Ascot was incredible, I rode in the Ascot Gold Cup which the Queen won with a filly called Estimate, it was just amazing to watch her celebrate and meet her,” McDonald said.
McDonald will ride It’s A Dundeel during his spring campaign that is set to include starts in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m), Underwood Stakes (1800m), Caulfield Stakes (2000m) and Cox Plate (2040m) before a possible start in the Melbourne Cup (3200m).