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Comeback jockey James McDonald is free to ride Care To Think in the Group 1 $700,000 Kingsford-Smith Cup (1350m) at Doomben on Saturday.

James McDonald will ride Care To Think, above, in the 2018 Kingsford-Smith Cup at Doomben. Photo by Steve Hart.

James McDonald will ride Care To Think, above, in the 2018 Kingsford-Smith Cup at Doomben. Photo by Steve Hart.

McDonald only returned to the saddle last week after serving an eighteen month disqualification for betting and was quick to find his way back to the winner’s stall with a double at Warwick Farm on his first day back last Wednesday.

McDonald then fronted up at Kembla Grange the following day with another winner but walked away with a four day careless riding suspension for causing interference at the 900m in the 1200m Maiden Plate.

Racing New South Wales Stewards suspended McDonald’s licence from Sunday May 27 until midnight on Thursday May 31, meaning that the Group 1 winning rider won’t miss any Saturdays and will be available to ride at the next two Brisbane Winter Carnival meetings.

McDonald was back in action on the Saturday circuit with another winning double at Rosehill last weekend and will be free to ride at the Group 1 meeting at Doomben this coming Saturday.

Murwillumbah trainer Matt Dunn has booked McDonald to ride the stable’s number one sprinter in the Kingsford-Smith Cup with the prospect of securing him to partner Care To Think in the Group 1 $1.5m Stradbroke Handicap (1350m) at Doomben on June 9.

“I booked James with the intention of him testing Care To Think as a Stradbroke Handicap mount,” Dunn told AAP.

“I don’t know what weight Care to Think will get in the Stradbroke. It is weight-for-age in the Kingsford-Smith. But if Care To Think wins the Kingsford-Smith Cup he will probably get 55kg in the Stradbroke which will suit James.”

The weights for the 2018 Stradbroke Handicap will be released on Monday May 28, two days after the Kingsford-Smith Cup.

Care To Think has established himself as one of the leading contenders for the Brisbane Winter Carnival Group 1 sprints after working his way up through the classes over the Summer, culminating with a win in the $1m Magic Millions Cup (1400m) at the Gold Coast on January 13.

Care To Think has had one run back this campaign and at his first attempt in Group 1 company wasn’t disgraced with an eye catching sixth to English in the Group 1 $700,000 Kirin Doomben 10,000 (1200m) at Doomben on May 12.

The So You Think four year old made up plenty of ground from the tail of the field indicating the extra distance of the Kingsford-Smith Cup will be ideal.

“He just needs a good barrier for a chance on Saturday,” Dunn said.

Care To Think is highly rated in the pre-post betting for the Kingsford-Smith Cup and is on the third line at $6 with Ladbrokes.com.au behind the Kris Lees trained Le Romain at $3.50 and last year’s Stradbroke Handicap winner Impending at $6.

Early betting for the 2018 Kingsford-Smith Cup at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.50 Le Romain, $4.50 Impending, $6 Care To Think, $7 English, $12 Spieth, Volpe Veloce, $17 Endless Drama, $21 Lucky Hussler, Perast, $26 Danon Liberty, Foxplay, Most Important, Supido, Voodoo Lad, $34 Santa Ana Lane, $41 First Among Equals, Glenall, $51 or better the rest.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.