Top New Zealand rider James McDonald takes out Phar Lap stakes

By: Mark Mazzaglia
March 24th, 2012
Breaking News
Colorado Claire

Jockey James McDonald on Colorado Claire takes out the Phar Lap Stakes at Rosehill Gardens - photo (c) Steve Hart

Leading New Zealand rider James McDonald showed off his talent at Rosehill today when he took out the Group 2 $175,000 Spotless Phar Lap Stakes (1500m) on Colorado Claire.

McDonald had an outstanding New Zealand carnival securing three Group one races and has carried his good form over into the Sydney Autumn Carnival.

The young Kiwi rider is on the verge of setting up base in Australia and showed local racegoers his ability when he was able to weave a passage on the John O’Shea trained filly to score a narrow win over the colts and geldings.

Colorado Claire capped off a great couple of days for O’Shea after having lowered Hay List’s colours at Moonee Valley last night when his three year old Foxwedge took out the Group 1 $400,000 Power Tracker William Reid Stakes (1200m).

The Hussonet filly collected her fifth winning cheque from seven starts and has really impressed O’Shea with her continued improvement.

“She’s has always been a really quality filly as evidenced by her record,” O’Shea said.

O’Shea was quick to send a cheerio to owner David Paradise who had to watch his filly win from his hospital bed and was also keen to acknowledge the talent of McDonald .

“She beat the colts and the other thing I think we need to make mention of is this wonderful talented James McDonald. He’s just a class act and he’s a wonderful rider,” he said.

O’Shea will now have rethink where he goes with Colorado Claire after her win in the Group 2.

“It’s thrown a little spanner in the works because I was going to drop her back to Listed grade,” O’Shea said.

“She’s a graduate of the Inglis Easter Series and that means she’s eligible for the Scone Guineas so we might put a little plan in place to take her there.”

McDonald was able to track up favourite Wild And Proud ($4.20) coming to the home turn and switch over his heels before giving his filly a clear run to the line.

Runner up Rekindled Alliance ($5) made a late dive but McDonald was able to get Colorado Claire ($9) home by a head with Wild And Proud holding on for third.

“She’s a nice filly and gave me a great feel in the run and she hit the line really strong,” McDonald said.

“She was probably a sitting duck for a little bit and to her credit she fought strongly.”


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