Docklands heading back to Ascot for Champions Day

Britannia winner Docklands is to return to Ascot on Qipco British Champions Day for the Balmoral Handicap.

Trained by Harry Eustace, the three-year-old has made giant strides this season, with his Royal Ascot success the third of three straight wins.

He was last seen finishing sixth in a Group Three at Goodwood, but Eustace believes that race was not run to suit and back at Ascot in a big field will be much more his cup of tea.

“The Balmoral Handicap is very much the plan and has been for a while. His Ascot record speaks for itself and he’s shown there that he handles both soft and quick ground,” said Eustace.

“When he ran in the Group Three at Goodwood last time I think he was compromised by sitting last in a very tactically-run race that was run on going that made it tough to make up ground.

“It was a better run than the bare visuals suggest and I’ve no doubt that he’ll make up into a Group horse, but for the money on offer, and being at Ascot, the Balmoral was the obvious race for him.

“It will be very exciting to have a first runner on Qipco British Champions Day, and it’s exciting too for his owners O T I Racing, who are big international players and will have him to race in Australia at some stage, probably for their Spring Carnival next year, which would be October/November.

“I would have thought that Hayley (Turner) will ride, and she rides the straight track at Ascot particularly well.”

The weights are published on September 26.

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