James McDonald returns to stake his claim for Sydney jockeys premiership title   Leave a comment

James McDonald returns to stake his claim for Sydney jockeys premiership title

He hasn’t ridden at a Sydney race meeting since June 3 and when he left for overseas he had a 10-win lead over nearest rival Hugh Bowman in the premiership.

James McDonald will resume his defence of the Sydney jockeys premiership at Warwick Farm

James McDonald will resume his defence of the Sydney jockeys premiership at Warwick Farm on Wednesday. Source:News Corp Australia

WHEN James McDonald left for England last month to ride for Godolphin over the northern hemisphere summer, it appeared he had thrown away his chances of retaining the Sydney jockeys premiership.

But McDonald, who has ridden 88.5 Sydney wins this season, returns to metropolitan racing at Warwick Farm on Wednesday and despite missing the last 11 city meetings, he is still on top of the premiership standings although his lead has been reduced to just one win.

Blake Shinn has surged into second placing with Bowman still right in premiership contention on 86 wins with five city meetings remaining this season.

McDonald is due to arrive back in Sydney today and goes straight back to the races on Wednesday where he has a full book of seven rides.

Godolphin’s Sydney trainer John O’Shea has been in regular contact with McDonald in recent weeks and is doing his best to help the jockey clinch another premiership by booking him for four rides at Warwick Farm — Nazca, Cabalistic, Wedding and Cesto.

“I thought we had a very strong hand for ‘Macca’ until I saw the barriers — they have all drawn frightful gates,’’ O’Shea said.

“But hopefully there is a winner or two among them. I’ve kept in touch with ‘Macca’ while he has been in England and although he hasn’t had too many chances, he has ridden some winners and had a very good experience.’’

The enthralling premiership battle is likely to go down to the final meeting of the season at Canterbury on July 29. Shinn has a full of rides at Warwick Farm on Wednesday and Bowman has five mounts as both strive to keep the pressure on McDonald.

O’Shea also confirmed McDonald will be the new rider of last start Civic Stakes winner Haussmann in the Listed $100,000 Winter Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.

“Haussmann is racing in good form but his chances on the weekend are very much dependent on his barrier draw and what the weather does between now and Saturday,’’ O’Shea said.

O’Shea has nominated among others classy filly Alegria and talented juvenile Inner Circle for the Rosehill meeting.

SYDNEY JOCKEYS PREMIERSHIP BATTLE

JAMES MCDONALD

88.5 wins

Warwick Farm rides Wednesday

R1: Miccuci

R2: Nazca

R3: Happy Soul

R4: Cabalistic

R5: Wedding

R6: Cestos

R7: Prime Target

BLAKE SHINN

87.5 wins

Warwick Farm rides Wednesday

R1: Mussenden

R2: Rocklicious

R3: Keepit To Yourself

R4: Ashkannd

R5: Sweet Fire

R6: Broad Shoulders

R7: Anecdote

HUGH BOWMAN

86 wins

Warwick Farm rides Wednesday

R1: Hembrook

R2: Diamond Fever

R3: Raijinz

R6: Pick Me Up

R7: Shadow Lord

Originally published as McDonald returns to flex muscles in title race

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Posted July 14, 2015 by belesprit09 in Uncategorized

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