James McDonald relishing Godolphin opportunities

James McDonald

James McDonald: looking forward to more Godolphin rides

  PICTURE: John Grossick (racingpost.com/photos)  

RISING STAR James McDonald is out to blaze a trail in Britain after being handed the Godolphin baton from the banned William Buick.

Already a big name in Australia, the 24-year-old New Zealander announced himself in Britain with victory in last Saturday’s Northumberland Plate and will now enjoy an extended stay after Buick’s 30-day ban.

Described as world-class by Charlie Appleby, trainer of Plate hero Antiquarium, McDonald expressed his sympathy for Goldophin team-mate Buick but is relishing an “unbelievable” opportunity to shine at the big summer festivals at Newmarket and Goodwood.

He said: “It’s a bit unfortunate with the circumstances, but I’m looking forward to getting more opportunities and I’m happy to fill in the gaps when I can. They’re two prestigious meetings and it’s unbelievable to have the opportunity to be involved.”

World-class rider

The Kiwi, who rides Secret Brief for Appleby in Saturday’s Coral Challenge at Sandown, is Godolphin’s principal rider in Australia and has made a big impact since being signed up by Sheikh Mohammed’s team last March.

“He’s retained by us for a reason. He’s a world-class rider, is very accomplished and is part of the team,” Appleby said. “James rode for us last year when he was over for a spell and did a great job on Antiquarium in the Northumberland Plate.”

Read more in Friday’s Racing Post – on iPad from 8pm


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