It ended up taking a little bit longer than expected but James McDonald has finally cracked the double century of winners across the ditch in New Zealand.
He’s still an apprentice but that hasn’t stopped him becoming the first kiwi in history to achieve the milestone in a single season.
The aptly named Showing Off was his winning filly, the two-year-old returning an all the way win across soggy ground at Te Teko.
It was a fortnight ago that McDonald pushed passed the previous record of Lisa Cropp and rode his 198th winner at Pukekohe, the final two proving a bit tougher to find for him.
The joy was obvious for the 19 year odl as he finally got that monkey off his back.
“It’s bloody great,” McDonald said.
“It’s a relief more than anything because it’s been a long time coming. It’s been a lot of hard work and finally, at Te Teko, we got it.
“I’m thankful for everyone who has helped me along the way.”
Adding to a growing list of achievements he will pick up his second New Zealand Premiership this year along with a further four Apprentice Premierships as well.
McDonald made serious in roads internationally this year when he came across to Australia and stole the show at the Brisbane Winter Carnival.
His partnership with Scarlett Lady was just about the story of the month as he positioned her perfectly to win The Roses at Doomben and then the Group 1 Queensland Oaks as well.
As a result he’s had offers from as far afield as Hong Kong to ride fulltime and he’s said to be seriously considering a number of offers from Australian based trainers.