Charlie Appleby has earmarked the Paradise Stakes at Ascot as the most likely target for impressive Lincoln winner Auxerre.

The Newmarket handler feels the mile listed contest on May 1st is the ideal stepping stone for the lightly-raced son of Iffraaj, as opposed to pitching him into Pattern-race company.

Victory for the four-year-old on Town Moor last month was a fourth career win in just five starts, with the sole defeat coming on debut at Newmarket in June.

Appleby said: “He has progressed very well through the winter. We were confident the Lincoln was the right race for him, as he was off the right mark.

“We are not going to get too carried away – there were some comments about the Queen Anne and the Group Two at Sandown, but I’m not going be punching up there yet.

“We went up to a mark off 107 and that is still a long way off being a Group One or Two horse.

“The plan with him is hopefully head to Ascot for a Listed race there in early May, and then try to work our way through the ranks.”

Having enjoyed plenty of success in Australia last year, highlighted by the victory of Cross Counter in the Melbourne Cup, Appleby is hoping he can secure more top-level glory later this month with D’Bai and Dubhe.

He said: “Dubhe will go for the Sydney Cup on April 13th. We saw the improvement from stepping him up to two miles on his last start and he goes there as a competitive player.

“D’Bai heads for the All Aged Stakes which is a Group 1 over seven furlongs. He is already a Group 2 winner having won the Al Fahidi out in Dubai in January.

“We felt they were the right horses to go down there with to hopefully be competitive.”