Docklands ran well in the Queen Anne
Docklands ran well in the Queen Anne

York beckons for Docklands before Aussie adventure with Cox Plate in sights

Docklands has the Cox Plate in his sights after the brave decision by trainer Harry Eustace was rewarded in the Queen Anne.

The four-year-old was a Royal Ascot winner last season, landing the Britannia Stakes on a memorable day for his young handler.

Ascot seems to suit Docklands, who has never been unplaced there and was second in the Paradise Stakes on his first start of the season when beaten only a neck.

He then headed to Longchamp to finish second in Listed company, after which connections took the plunge and stepped him up to Group One level to contest the Queen Anne at Royal Ascot instead of his Listed alternative in the Wolferton.

Under Hayley Turner he ran a fine race, beating all bar impressive winner Charyn.

“I was delighted, we had him in the Wolferton as well but we took the chance, with his straight course form, in a Group One,” Eustace said of the run.

“For him to look as competitive as he did was incredibly exciting and though he’s been a lot of fun up until now he’s clearly going to be a lot more fun still.”

Horse Racing Podcast: Royal Ascot Review

Docklands is Australia-bound and has Victoria-based owners in OTI Racing, with his Ascot run inspiring a more ambitious target in the Southern Hemisphere as the Cox Plate is now the likely aim.

“Australia is the plan, but his target has probably changed since that run, we were going to target a race called the Five Diamonds, but I would say our priority is the Cox Plate,” Eustace said.

“He is owned now by OTI and it would be huge for them to have a competitive runner in there.

“His next race will probably be at the York Ebor meeting – I would imagine he’ll go in the Strensall, but he does have an entry in the Juddmonte as well.

“We’ll just track it through and see what happens, we’re quite looking forward to stepping him up in trip.

“I don’t know if he will run between York and Australia because it can start to happen quite quickly as their quarantine is a month, the Cox Plate is in October so that eats into September and York is in August – suddenly it all starts happening.

“I would imagine he’ll have just the one run at the Ebor meeting and it’ll be between one of those two races.”

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