Jockey James McDonald has sounded an ominous warning to would-be spring rivals about ATC Derby winner It’s A Dundeel. McDonald rode the four-time Group 1 winner at trainer Murray Baker’s Cambridge property in a light gallop on Tuesday the first time he’d sat on the horse since It’s A Dundeel destroyed his opposition in the ATC Derby.

McDonald described It’s A Dundeel as the “ultimate race horse”.

McDonald described It’s A Dundeel as the “ultimate race horse”.

“He’s come back a more professional horse, he’s grown and he’s strengthened up. He’s a real bull,” McDonald told the New Zealand Racing Desk.

“I think his action has improved. He’s come back a bigger horse, he feels brilliant.

“He has a presence about him, I couldn’t be happier.”

Trainer Murray Baker said It’s A Dundeel would kick start a spring campaign aimed at the Cox Plate in either the Memsie Stakes (1400 m) at Caulfield on August 31 or the Makybe Diva Stakes (1600 m) at Flemington a week later.

Baker said Its A Dundeel would have his second up run in the Underwood Stakes then progress to the Caulfield Stakes before heading to the Cox Plate.

“He’s done it all this horse and we think he can do more,” Baker told the NZ Racing Desk.

“He’s a very competitive horse, he just loves racing. He’s certainly grown and thickened out.”

During a stunning 3YO career, It’s A Dundeel won the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes, the Group 1 Randwick Guineas, the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas and the Group 1 ATC Derby. (