McDonald makes do with celebratory phone call

Sydney's leading jockey James McDonald might have clocked up a century of metropolitan wins for the season at Rosehill on Saturday, but he had to make do with a telephone call to his Mother in New Zealand to share the feat with a travel bubble still to be set in place for flying within Australasia due to continuing Covid-19 travel restrictions. 

“I also got to speak with my mum back in New Zealand (after the win on Kordia) which was really nice," said McDonald.

“She is devastated she has not been able to come over as she was there for my 100th last year, but she is very happy and it is always good to talk to family back home,” he said.

The 100.5 metro wins ended an interesting week for McDonald with a Racing NSW stewards' three week suspension for failing to ride Threeood to take all reasonable and permissible measures on to either win or obtain the best possible place at Randwick the previous Saturday.

The century was clocked on Godolphin's Kordia in the Hyland EOFY Sale Bm78 Handicap (1200m) and the win on the Epaulette three-year-old gelding was smooth and progressive with the winning margin 1 1/4L with some ease. 

TAB rpeorted that Kordia carried a number of big bets and was heavily leveraged through multis. Bottoming out at $2.90 before starting a $3.50 favourite, Kordia stormed home over the top of his rivals to beat Ghostly ($19) and Malea Magic ($4.80).

The win brought up a treble for McDonald after earlier winnning with Rothenbury and another Godolphin runner Roheryn. 

That is the ton, James McDonald salutes the win, picture

McDonald, who rode 104 winners to claim the Sydney jockeys’ premiership last year, is the first to ride at least 100 metropolitan winners in successive seasons since Darren Beadman in 2007 and was delighted to achieve his goal.

“I was thrilled and extremely happy as it was a goal I had set out to achieve,” McDonald said.

“I had great support through a wide base of trainers and owners and we couldn’t have done it without that support. It is a hard environment that we compete in and so to do it twice is such a really good thing to achieve.

“We have fought away at it and hopefully I can get a few more before the end of the season.”

McDonald gave plenty of praise to the team around him including his agent Mark Guest.

“Monday is quite stressful for Guesty as he is working through rides up to two weeks in advance,” he said.

“We sit down and try and work through them and pick the best ones although there is always a loyalty to the bigger supporters. He does a great job communicating with everyone and we work really well together."

McDonald has his sights set on retaining his Sydney jockeys’ premiership despite the three-week suspension that runs from July 5th to July 26th.

He currently holds a 20.5 win lead over his nearest rival Nash Rawiller with 80 wins to-date.

“It will be my main focus as I would love to achieve that goal as well,” he said.

“It would cap off a wonderful year.” 

Additional reporting New Zealand News Desk