Talented hoop James McDonald needs just two more wins to win the 2013/2014 Sydney Jockeys Premiership after he piloted Felix Bay to victory in the Mossman At Vinery Handicap (2200m) at Warwick Farm this afternoon.
McDonald went into today’s meeting at Warwick Farm just two wins behind Nash Rawiller, who is currently riding in Japan, on the Sydney Jockeys Premiership table and after today will have four meetings to pick up the two race wins he requires to take an outright lead in the premiership race.
The young jockey is delighted to have the opportunity to take out his maiden premiership, but told TVN this morning that he is not getting ahead of himself and believes he still faces a tough task to ride the wins that are required.
“There is still a long way to go, but we won’t die wondering and we will be having a go,” McDonald said.
“I only have five meetings to get a few winners and hopefully we will get it done.
“It sounds easier than it looks, but it is going to be a tough ask and hopefully we will get there.”
McDonald has been a consistent performer in Sydney throughout the 2013/2014 racing season, but really came into his own as one of the best jockeys in Australia during the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival, where he took out the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) with Mossfun, the Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) with Rising Romance and the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) with It’s A Dundeel.
The 22-year-old has been thrilled with the year that he has had to date and is now looking to cap off the best season of his riding career with a Sydney Jockeys Premiership Title.
“It has been amazing,” McDonald said.
“This is my second year in Sydney and to be in the running to win my first Sydney Premiership, I wouldn’t have dreamt of that.
“I have had a fantastic season with the likes of It’s A Dundeel, Mossfun and Rising Romance; they have all been headline acts in all the biggest race in Sydney.
“It has been a fantastic year and if I can get the Sydney Premiership it will just be the icing on the cake really.”
McDonald has five rides at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday and will partner the well-bred Fastnet Diva in the opening race.