McDonald to be added to Darley riding ranks

By: Mark Mazzaglia
January 13th, 2014

In form jockey Kerrin McEvoy will remain the number one rider for Darley while James McDonlad will also be added to the riding ranks when trainer John O’Shea takes over the training role.

James McDonald and It's A Dundeel winning the 2013 G1 Rosehill Guineas

James McDonald and It's A Dundeel winning the 2013 G1 Rosehill Guineas. Photo by Steve Hart.

McDonlad does a lot of riding for O’Shea as well as for many of the top Sydney stables and will be a welcomed asset to the Darley operation.

O’Shea was appointed the new head trainer for Darley in Australia after current head Peter Snowden announced that he would be stepping down from the position in May, at the conclusion of the Sydney Autumn Carnival.

“There are 400 horses there and Kerrin can’t ride them all,” O’Shea told Racing Network today.

“Darley has said Kerrin is the number one rider, but past that they have left it up to me and I will be using James McDonald a lot. I’m sure he will be a wonderful acquisition to the Darley team.”

“I’m sure James McDonald will do a wonderful job for Sheikh Mohammed in whatever role we find for him.”

“No-one is riding better than Kerrin McEvoy at the moment – he’s at the peak of his powers.

“He’s a senior, established rider in great form,” he added.

McDonald rode a host of Group 1 winners in New Zealand, including the 2012 Group 1 NZ$750,000 TV3 NZ Derby (2400m) on Silent Achiever at Ellerslie, before heading to Australia and hitting the headlines with multiple Group 1 wins  on It’s A Dundeel for trainer Murray Baker.

After collecting a Group 1 hat trick in Sydney during the 2013 Sydney Autumn Carnival with wins in the $550,000 Hyland Race Colours Royal Randwick Guineas (1600m) at Warwick Farm, the $500,000 M. J. Bale Rosehill Guineas (2000m) at Rosehill and the $1.5m David Jones Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick, McDonald and It’s A Dundeel won the Group 1 $400,000 Hyland Race Colours Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on September 21.

McDonald has ridden with success for many of the top Sydney stables and was at his best in scoring on Sweet Idea for Gai Waterhouse in the Gold Coast $1m Magic Millions 3yo Guineas (1400m) at the Gold Coast last Saturday.

McDonald has ridden twenty winners this season in the Sydney Metropolitan area and is currently equal ninth on the jockey’s premiership while McEvoy has chalked up twenty-three wins and is equal sixth on the ladder.

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