McDonald to miss major Winter Carnival meetings

By: Mark Mazzaglia
May 29th, 2014

In form jockey James McDonald will miss the remainder of the Brisbane Winter Carnival Group 1 meetings after being suspended for careless riding at Canterbury on Wednesday.

James McDonald winning the 2014 Golden Slipper on Mossfun.

James McDonald winning the 2014 Golden Slipper on Mossfun. Photo by Steve Hart.

McDonald’s ambitions of winning his first Sydney jockey’s premiership are also dashed after he was suspended from Sunday, June 1 until June 22, missing seven metropolitan meetings and six in the provincials.

The Sydney based Kiwi jockey is currently leading the Sydney jockey’s premiership and rode one winner at Canterbury to take him to sixty-six wins, four wins ahead of his nearest rival Nash Rawiller.

Racing New South Wales stewards deemed McDonald responsible for his mount The Big Bomber shifting out over the concluding stages of the Testa Rosa @ Vinery Maiden Plate (1580m) causing interference to Munyeca which resulted in jockey Tye Angland having a spectacular fall right on the finish line.

But in an amazing finish, Angland was able to hang onto the reins as Munyeca crossed the line therefore horse and jockey completed the race and were placed in fourth spot.

Angland escaped any serious injury and completed his engagements for the remainder of the meeting.

McDonald was in outstanding form during the Sydney Autumn Carnival collecting Group 1 wins on Mossfun in the 1 $3.5m Tooheys New Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill, and on Rising Romance in the $1m Seven News Australian Oaks (2400m) and It’s A Dundeel in the $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) both at Randwick on day two of “The Championships’.

But the young jockey will not be riding any more Group 1 winners for the current season.

He won’t be riding at the Queensland Oaks meeting at Eagle Farm on Saturday, riding at Rosehill instead and will miss Stradbroke Handicap Day on June 7 and Tattersall’s Tiara Day on June 21 both at Eagle Farm.

On Stradbroke Handicap Day McDonald had been booked to ride Kiwi filly Telepathic in the Group 1 $500,000 Channel Seven Queensland Derby (2400m) and Mohave from the John O’Shea stable in the Group 1 $500,000 J.J. Atkins (1600m) and will miss the ride on Zephyron in the Group 2 $300,000 Brisbane Cup (2400m).

Even though McDonald pleaded guilty, he also attributed some of the interference to the greenness of his mount, the Gai Waterhouse trained  The Big Bomber who was having his first race start.

“There’s a few circumstances that have contributed to the incident,” McDonald said.

“I’m on a green first starter which is wandering out. We are driving to the line over the last few metres and I wasn’t aware Tye was there.”

And McDonald can see his chances of winning the jockey’s title slipping away as well.

“There’s no doubt this is a big blow to my title chances,” McDonald told Racenet.

“It is what it is. What can I do?”

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