Trainer John O’Shea is urging star Kiwi apprentice jockey James McDonald to base himself in Sydney instead of Melbourne this spring.
O’Shea has booked McDonald to ride Elite Falls at Warwick Farm this Saturday and is eager to get the jockey to stay on throughout the remainder of the carnival.
“I’ve explained to James you don’t necessarily have to be domiciled in Melbourne to ride the Melbourne Cup winner,” O’Shea said.
“Besides, how often do you see Sydney horses dominate over the Melbourne carnival?
“A few years ago Sydney-trained horses won seven of the nine races on Victoria Derby day, the best day’s racing in the country.
“If James was based in Sydney he could almost have the pick of any Sydney horse going to Melbourne for the carnival, he’s that good.”
O’Shea also believes that prize money during the Sydney Spring Racing Carnival is destined to outweigh that on offer down in Melbourne.
“The Melbourne Cup Carnival is only one week of the (carnival),” O’Shea said.
“If Racing NSW wins its court case, prize money is going to go through the roof here and that will make it more attractive for a jockey riding week in and week out.”
McDonald is currently only planning to stay in Sydney until next Tuesday.