James McDonald could miss the Gloaming Stakes ride on It’s A Dundeel after copping a two-week suspension for weighing in light at Canterbury yesterday.
McDonald, who has recently relocated to Sydney from New Zealand, weighed in 800 grams light following a third-place ride on Charge Account in the Pluck @ Vinery Handicap (1100m).
This led to the disqualification of the John O’Shea-trained gelding and the suspension of McDonald at a subsequent inquiry.
The Racing New South Wales stewards report said McDonald would be unavailable to ride from September 9 until September 23 meaning he would miss both Saturday week’s Golden Rose meeting and the George Main Stakes meeting on September 22.
“He was at fault for that gelding carrying less than the weight it should have carried,” the report said.
McDonald may appeal the ban but if the suspension stands connections of Victoria Derby hope It’s A Dundeel will be forced to find a new rider for the promising colt’s first stakes test in the Group 3 Gloaming Stakes (1800m) on September 22.
The talented New Zealand jockey has ridden the Murray Baker-trained three-year-old in all of his three undefeated starts including two stunning victories on Australian soil.
The most recent of those came yesterday when It’s A Dundeel scored a tight win in the Australian Turf Club Handicap (1580m) after being ridden quietly at the back of the field before making a move at the home turn.
Baker’s son Bjorn, who is looking after It’s A Dundeel at this Warwick Farm stables, said he was excited about seeing the exciting youngster over a longer trip in the Gloaming Stakes.
“I’m very much looking forward to getting him into a big straight,” Baker said.
“It was a good effort…he’s definitely looking for further I think.”