James McDonald charged by Racing NSW stewards for Threeood trip at Randwick

Champion jockey James McDonald has been sensationally hit with a working and dealing with cost by Racing NSW stewards for his trip on crushed favorite Threeood at Royal Randwick final Saturday.

Racing NSW chief steward Marc Van Gestel confirmed a cost beneath Australian Racing Rule 122 which pertains to “taking all affordable and permissible measures to acquire the absolute best inserting in a race” had been issued in opposition to Sydney’s main jockeys.

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McDonald, who’s driving at Canterbury on Wednesday, has been summoned to seem at a stewards inquiry at Racing NSW headquarters on Friday.

Van Gestel stated there have been two particulars of McDonald’s trip within the straight that stewards felt had been of concern and warranted additional investigation.

Stewards questioned McDonald about his techniques on Threeood after the race with Van Gestel even describing the jockey’s effort as “half-hearted.”

McDonald vigorously defended his trip, telling stewards that Threeood struggled to deal with the heavy observe circumstances earlier than the $2.90 favorite ran solely ninth to Stella Sea Solar.

If discovered responsible of the costs, the jockey could possibly be a prolonged suspension interval of at the very least 4 weeks.

McDonald has ridden 96.5 metropolitan winners to date this season and is on observe to defend his Sydney jockey premiership title.

He’s additionally poised to turn into the primary jockey since Corridor of Famer Darren Beadman in 2006-07 to trip at the very least 100 winners in successive Sydney seasons.

However the Threeood inquiry may influence McDonald’s premiership bid with Nash Rawiller on 79 wins shut sufficient to make a title bid with six weeks of the 2019-20 season remaining.


Group Hawkes has some powerful however welcome selections to make with increase stayers Grasp Of Wine and Mount Popa this spring.

The conundrum with Grasp Of Wine is what function races to overlook and for Mount Popa, a formidable winner at Royal Randwick final Saturday, will this spring carnival come round too quickly?

Both method, they’re two thrilling staying abilities who’re drawing inevitable comparisons as each have the identical sire, started their race careers in Europe, their expertise was recognized and recruited by Corridor of Famer John Hawkes and his sons, Wayne and Michael, they usually share an analogous possession group.

Grasp Of Wine, who’s among the many favourites for the Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup this spring, is again in work on the Hawkes steady’s Rosehill base.

Co-trainer Michael Hawkes stated Grasp of Wine has “spelled nicely and appears magnificent’’ however he’s not sure what the stayer’s race program can be in spring with a selection prone to be made between the Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate.

“You simply can’t say I’m going to run them in a Cox Plate or Caulfield Cup as a result of issues occur and alter,’’ Hawkes stated. “You possibly can have an finish grand last but it surely’s about the way you get there.”

Hawkes stated he may see advantage within the argument to change the dates of the Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate.

“ it from a stayers viewpoint you’d in all probability moderately go from 2000m (Cox Plate) to 2400m (Caulfield Cup) right into a Melbourne Cup (3200m), that’s supreme,’’ he stated.

“Generally if it ain’t broke don’t repair it, both – however generally change is nice.’’

Mount Popa was having simply his second Australian begin when he romped away at Randwick, albeit in a restricted grade race and Hawkes indicated the stayer might need a brief break now earlier than consideration is given to a spring carnival marketing campaign.


Star jockey Tommy Berry, who rode 4 winners on the Randwick assembly, believes Mount Popa confirmed he’s a stayer of actual potential.

“Mount Popa has all the fitting attributes, he’s a very nice sort with a beautiful motion and covers the bottom nicely for a horse that will get over floor,’’ Berry stated.

“He needed to do it with an enormous weight of 60kg, second-up over 2000m on a heavy 9 so to see him draw back from them late it was an enormous effort.’’

Berry additionally received on Companions, Poetic Charmer and Agassi earlier than narrowly lacking a career-best five-win haul when Bandersnatch was crushed narrowly within the final race.

His trip on Companions was an excellent front-running effort however no higher than Hugh Bowman’s choice to let Witherspoon use her beautiful pace within the 1000m sprint.

Bowman’s brace – he additionally received on Viridine – got here because the Corridor of Fame jockey begins a month’s break from driving over winter to spend time together with his younger household.

However Bowman is already planning his schedule to be prepared for necessary barrier trial periods later subsequent month when most of the potential spring carnival hopefuls together with Group Snowden’s prime colt King’s Legacy can be on account of compete.

King’s Legacy received the ATC Sires Produce Stakes-Champagne Stakes Group 1 juvenile double beneath Bowman at Randwick in the course of the autumn carnival.

“There may be some good, younger horses coming by way of and it will likely be attention-grabbing to see how this season’s two-year-olds develop as three-year-olds,’’ Bowman stated.

“However I’m positive King’s Legacy can be a headline act within the spring.’’


Sydney’s racing media continues to be coming to phrases with the passing of our revered colleague, AAP’s long-time racing editor Caryl Williamson, final month.

Williamson’s legacy as a trailblazing feminine racing journalist can be acknowledged by the Australian Turf Membership at a race assembly later this yr.

I additionally imagine there’s actual advantage in renaming the NSW Racing Writers’ Character of the 12 months, which is determined by the Sydney racing media and introduced on the annual NSW Racehorse House owners Affiliation “Night time of Champions”, because the “Caryl Williamson Award”.


Stradivarius has earned the fitting to be ranked among the many biggest European stayers after profitable his third Ascot Gold Cup at Royal Ascot final week by an enormous 10 lengths – however what weight would he get if entered for the Melbourne Cup this yr?

I requested Racing Victoria’s Greg Carpenter for a handicap evaluation if within the unlikely occasion Stradivarius is nominated for the Flemington two-miler this spring and he stated: “Little question it might begin with a 6!”

If Stradivarius was given at the very least 60kg – he would virtually definitely be allotted extra – it’s price nothing carried that weight or extra to win a Melbourne Cup since Rain Lover had 60.5kg when he received the race for a second time in 1969.

Suppose Massive had 58.5kg when he received a second Melbourne Cup in 1975 and the nice Makybe Diva accomplished her unprecedented Cup three-peat in 2005 beneath 58kg.

Carpenter identified that Stradivarius has received at the very least one Group 1 race yearly since 2017 and has been the dominant stayer in Europe throughout this era, so the champion English stayer would in all probability get round 62kg in a Melbourne Cup.

The final horse to hold that greater than 61kg (Dalray, 1952) to win a Melbourne Cup was the legendary Phar Lap with 62.5kg in 1930.

Nonetheless, the possibilities of Stradivarius coming down beneath are distant with connections contemplating a begin within the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in October whereas their long-term goal is to try to equal Yeats’s report of 4 successive Ascot Gold Cups subsequent yr.

Viridine delights Corridor of Famers

Viridine earned a powerful endorsement from Corridor of Famers Hugh Bowman and Darren Beadman after a cultured win at Royal Randwick.

The heavy observe and a 61kg impost wasn’t sufficient to stop Viridine from racing away with the Winter Sprint (1200m).

Bowman, who accomplished a brace of wins after an earlier success on Witherspoon, stated Viridine has the flexibility to be competing on the highest stage.

“You can put him in a Group 1 and if he will get into the fitting place, he received’t disappoint,’’ Bowman stated.

“I do know it’s a good distance from that stage right here as we speak however that’s the kind of horse he’s.’’

Beadman, representing Godolphin coach James Cummings, admitted he has a smooth spot for Viridine.

“Once I was coaching, Viridine received his first two begins for me,’’ Beadman stated. “Hughie is correct, if every little thing goes his method he could be aggressive in these good races.

“The horse has all the time proven capacity however has in all probability been his personal worst enemy. He typically desires to be two lengths forward of the place you need him to be within the run however as we speak it labored out nicely for him.’’

Beadman and Bowman, two of the all-time nice jockeys with practically 200 Group 1 wins between them, mentioned techniques pre-race and decided that Viridine could be served finest by a conservative trip.

“Early within the race, Hughie may have pushed as much as maintain his spot however with the horse having 61kg, he determined to bide his time as an alternative,’’ Beadman stated.

“Hughie knew he had the entire straight to reel them in and saved the horse comfortable and with momentum. It was an excellent trip and the horse loved being ridden in that matter.’’

The Winter Sprint solely had six runners but it surely proved a compelling tactical race to observe with Bowman getting it proper on Viridine ($6) who pounced on his rivals midway down the straight to win by a widening 1¼ lengths from Deal with The Fact ($6) with Southern Lad ($2.20 favorite) weakening within the run house to complete greater than two lengths away third.

Invictus Prince, who as soon as ran second to the mighty Winx at Group 1 stage, didn’t appear serious about competing on Saturday and completed on the rear of the sector, greater than 13 lengths behind the winner.

Viridine had missed a spot in all three begins this marketing campaign however Bowman went out for the Winter Sprint with a quiet confidence he was on the fitting horse.

“I believed he was excellent final begin when he got here from nicely again and made up vital floor,’’ Bowman stated. “However he nonetheless needed to come out and do it because it has been awhile since he has received.

“There was no query he wished to do it as we speak as as soon as I bought off the heels of the favorite (Southern Lad) he put them to ‘mattress’ in a few strides. The small area and the nice draw helped so he had a couple of favours as we speak however he nonetheless bought the job carried out fairly impressively.’’

Viridine’s win ended a tragic week on a extra upbeat observe for Cummings and his spouse, Monica, after the passing of her grandfather, Eduardo Cojuangco, a couple of days in the past.

Understandably, Cummings wasn’t on observe however Beadman stated Viridine has responded to the coach’s affected person resolve which has additionally helped older sprinters like Coruscate and Esperance discover profitable kind once more this winter.

“James may be very form to his horses and the older they get, they appear to understand it,’’ Beadman stated. “A bit little bit of kindness goes a good distance.’’

Cummings is contemplating beginning Viridine within the Listed $200,000 Ramornie Handicap (1200m) at Grafton on July eight – offered the Godolphin sprinter will not be weighted out of the function race.

“However little fish are candy in the intervening time and it was good to get a win on the board with him,’’ Beadman stated. “Hopefully he’ll get some confidence again, he ought to take lots out of that. It’s superb what a win can do to provide a horse that feeling that that is what it’s all about.’’

Roche plans shock assault with Doncaster champ

Coach Wendy Roche is planning an audacious try at an Epsom Handicap-Cox Plate along with her Doncaster Mile heroine, Nettoyer.

Roche stated Nettoyer is because of return to her Warwick Farm stables subsequent week to be ready for a spring carnival marketing campaign the place the mare can be first-up within the Epsom Handicap.

“I do know the Epsom is an enormous ask to go straight there first-up however I’ll give Nettoyer two trials and she or he can be prepared,’’ Roche stated.

“It’s pointless working her first-up at 1400m or much less as a result of it’s simply too quick for her.

“She is all the time flying house in these dash races, she is the eye-catcher, she runs time, but it surely’s a waste of a run.

“So, I’m considering Epsom first-up then into the Cox Plate and she’s going to in all probability keep in Melbourne for the 1600m Group 1 mares race.’’

Nettoyer, Roche and jockey James Innes had been the feel-good story of The Championships at Royal Randwick final autumn. It was the bonny mare Nettoyer who charged house to beat Star Of The Seas and Brandenburg in a well-known Doncaster Mile end.

Roche and Innes celebrated the primary Group 1 win of their careers whereas Nettoyer created nationwide headlines for her uncommon weight loss plan of pizza, champagne and beer.

“Nettoyer has had an excellent spell and she or he appears to be like nice,’’ Roche stated. “Simply the opposite night time, I gave her some pizza and champagne – she loves it.’’

When Nettoyer received the Doncaster, the mare was a $41 outsider.