McDonald free to ride in Golden Rose

By: Mark Mazzaglia
September 6th, 2012

Talented kiwi jockey James McDonald will be free to ride Ashokan in the Group 1 $1m De Bortoli Wines Golden Rose (1400m) at Rosehill on September 15 after he was successful in obtaining a stay of proceedings for his two weeks suspension incurred at Canterbury on Wednesday.

McDonald was hit with the suspension for weighing in 800gms light after finishing third on the John O’Shea trained Charge Account and was originally outed from September 9 until September 23.

The young jockey, who has just recently set up base in Sydney leading into the Spring Carnival, will now be able to ride up to September 22 with his appeal against the severity of the suspension being heard the day before.

McDonald has set up a good association with New Zealander It’s A Dundeel and will now be able to three year old in the Group 3 $200,000 Gloaming Stakes (1800m) at Randwick on September 22.

It’s A Dundeel is in Australia heading toward the major three year old races and is on target after winning his second race in the Sydney area at Canterbury on Wednesday.

The Murray Baker trained three year old covered plenty of extra ground on the tight track in winning over 1580m for McDonald and Bjorn Baker, deputising for his father, said the High Chaparral colt would be better suited on the bigger stretches of Randwick.

“He gave my car a swipe as he went around the corner,” Baker said.

“He definitely covered a lot of extra ground in the last couple of furlongs.”

“I’m very much looking forward to getting him into a big straight.”

“He was under riding for a long way and he’s definitely looking for further. But it was a good effort.”

Baker has pencilled in the Group 3 $200,000 Gloaming Stakes (1800m) at Randwick on September 22 and the Group 1 $400,000 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on October 6 over the Sydney Spring Carnival.

McDonald has a strong book of rides at Warwick Farm on Saturday including top chances Secret Admirer for trainer Grahame Begg, Dear Demi for Clarrie Connors and Steps In Time for John O’Shea.

Secret Admirer is currently the ruling favourite at $3.10 for the Group 2 $175,000 Tattersalls Club Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) while Dear Demi is in the market at $6 in the Group 2 $175,000 Coolmore Furious Stakes (1400m).

Dear Demi would be better suited at the 1400m of the Furious after finishing strongly at her first run back when third to Nechita over 1200m in the Group 3 $125,000 Coolmore Silver Shadow Stakes at Warwick Farm on August 25 with McDonald on board.

“I would say she would have improved a stack with that run from the other day,” McDonald said.

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