Australian-based jockey James McDonald just missed out on a first Royal Ascot winner last week but the Kiwi is already hoping to be back with a Group 1 prospect next year.

Currently on a working holiday in Lambourn with trainer Charlie Hills, McDonald offered hope that this season's star three-year-old It's a Dundeel might be aimed towards the meeting after his Spring Racing Carnival assigments are completed.

Murray Baker's colt, the winner of Sydney's autumn Group 1 Triple Crown and last seen finishing second to Reliable Man in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m), is back after a spell and connections are expected to give him a small handful of lead-up runs before the Group 1 Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m).

McDonald had his first British success on only his second ride aboard Hills' Cable Bay in a maiden at Leicester on 3 June and was soon offered rides by other top trainers like Mick Channon, William Haggas and Clive Brittain.

More wins have followed around Britain and Hills was been impressed enough to give McDonald a few chances at Ascot, including aboard seventh-placed Model Pupil in the Group 1 Gold Cup (4000m), while Shropshire was second in the Wokingham Stakes (1200m).

He is expected to stay on through until July, and said: "It has been amazing. As a kid growing up, you always want to ride at Royal Ascot and to get the opportunity at the age of 21 is quite unreal.

"Charlie gave me some rides at the meeting and I'm very grateful to him. I've been really enjoying it here so far, hopefully it's something I will continue to be able to do at around this time in future years."

A sensation back in New Zealand, winning five championships, McDonald has been based in Sydney for 12 months and finished second aboard UK import Fiorente in last year's Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m).

McDonald is already looking ahead to Flemington, and said: "Heading down towards our spring, hopefully I'm on one of the favourites for the Cox Plate and the Mackinnon Stakes with It's a Dundeel and I'm looking forward to getting on his back again.

"That was one of the main reasons for coming over, as with a bit of luck, he might be running here next year." (

Click here to view It's A Dundeel's career profile.