Trainer John O’Shea has revealed that he is looking to secure a light-weight jockey to ride for Godolphin during the 2015 Spring Racing Carnival.
James McDonald replaced Kerrin McEvoy as the number one jockey for Godolphin just under a year ago, but the talented Kiwi does not normally take rides at below 55 kilograms on major race days and O’Shea told Racing Ahead that has left a whole for the operation that needs to be filled ahead of races like the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m).
“We have a few things that we still haven’t quite nailed down,” O’Shea said.
“We are probably restricted a little bit by weight at the moment and under 54 we struggle.
“James McDonald is a much more effective rider above 54 and a half, he rode 53 and a half in the Caulfield Cup (on Rising Romance), but it was a stretch.
“Ideally on big days we don’t take rides for him over 55 and that presents as an issue for us because we have a number of three-year-olds that will progress to weight-for-age hopefully during the spring and consequently we need a light-weight.
“There are a few options there and we need some more discussion on those options before we nail something down.”
Chad Schofield looked as though he was going to fill the light-weight role for Godolphin and he rode Sweynesse at 49 and a half kilograms in the Cox Plate last year, but the talented hoop has taken a contract in Hong Kong for the upcoming season and will not be available to ride in Australia every weekend during the spring.
Patrick Moloney is another young hoop that has been identified as an option for Godolphin, but O’Shea said that he is unlikely to make a firm decision until Turnbull Stakes Day at Flemington on October 4.
“Chad was a kid that we identified at an early stage that would probably fill that role for us,” O’Shea said.
“That is the sort of rider that we are looking for.
“I sort of forged a relationship with young Patrick Moloney, who I think has a wonderful future ahead of him and he is a young boy that I have a lot of time for.
“It might just be a little soon for Patrick in terms of those major feature races and he is going to continue to improve and he is an undoubted talent.
“The crunch day for us will be the first weekend of October where you have the Turnbull Stakes and the Epsom and The Metropolitan in Sydney.”
The likes of Contributer, Hartnell, Magic Hurricane, Sweynesse and Exosphere are all likely to feature in Group 1 races during the 2015 Spring Racing Carnival.