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

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

Racing NSW chief steward Marc Van Gestel confirmed a cost below Australian Racing Rule 122 which pertains to “taking all reasonable and permissible measures to obtain the best possible placing in a race” had been issued towards Sydney’s main jockeys.

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

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

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

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

If discovered responsible of the fees, the jockey may very well be taking a look at a prolonged suspension interval of a minimum of 4 weeks.

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

He’s additionally poised to develop into the primary jockey since Corridor of Famer Darren Beadman in 2006-07 to journey a minimum of 100 winners in successive Sydney seasons.

However the Threeood inquiry might 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.


Staff Hawkes has some robust however welcome selections to make with growth stayers Grasp Of Wine and Mount Popa this spring.

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

Both approach, they’re two thrilling staying skills 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, and so they share the same 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 secure’s Rosehill base.

Co-trainer Michael Hawkes mentioned Grasp of Wine has “spelled well and looks magnificent’’ but he is unsure what the stayer’s race program will be in spring with a choice likely to be made between the Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate.

“You just can’t say I am going to run them in a Cox Plate or Caulfield Cup because things happen and change,’’ Hawkes said. “You can have an end grand final but it’s about how you get there.”

Hawkes mentioned he might see benefit within the argument to modify the dates of the Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate.

“Looking at it from a stayers point of view you would probably rather go from 2000m (Cox Plate) to 2400m (Caulfield Cup) into a Melbourne Cup (3200m), that’s ideal,’’ he said.

“Sometimes if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, either – but sometimes change is good.’’

Mount Popa was having just his second Australian start when he romped away at Randwick, albeit in a restricted grade race and Hawkes indicated the stayer might have a short break now before consideration is given to a spring carnival campaign.


Star jockey Tommy Berry, who rode four winners at the Randwick meeting, believes Mount Popa showed he is a stayer of real potential.

“Mount Popa has all the right attributes, he’s a really nice type with a lovely action and covers the ground well for a horse that gets over ground,’’ Berry said.

“He had to do it with a big weight of 60kg, second-up over 2000m on a heavy 9 so to see him pull away from them late it was a massive effort.’’

Berry also won on Partners, Poetic Charmer and Agassi before narrowly missing a career-best five-win haul when Bandersnatch was beaten narrowly in the last race.

His ride on Partners was a brilliant front-running effort but no better than Hugh Bowman’s decision to let Witherspoon use her stunning speed in the 1000m dash.

Bowman’s brace – he also won on Viridine – came as the Hall of Fame jockey starts a month’s break from riding over winter to spend time with his young family.

But Bowman is already planning his schedule to be ready for important barrier trial sessions later next month when many of the potential spring carnival hopefuls including Team Snowden’s top colt King’s Legacy will be due to compete.

King’s Legacy won the ATC Sires Produce Stakes-Champagne Stakes Group 1 juvenile double under Bowman at Randwick during the autumn carnival.

“There is some nice, young horses coming through and it will be interesting to see how this season’s two-year-olds develop as three-year-olds,’’ Bowman said.

“But I’m sure King’s Legacy will be a headline act in the spring.’’


Sydney’s racing media is still coming to terms with the passing of our respected colleague, AAP’s long-time racing editor Caryl Williamson, last month.

Williamson’s legacy as a trailblazing female racing journalist will be acknowledged by the Australian Turf Club at a race meeting later this year.

I also believe there is real merit in renaming the NSW Racing Writers’ Personality of the Year, which is decided by the Sydney racing media and presented at the annual NSW Racehorse Owners Association “Night of Champions”, because the “Caryl Williamson Award”.


Stradivarius has earned the suitable to be ranked among the many best European stayers after successful 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 mentioned: “No doubt it would start with a 6!”

If Stradivarius was given a minimum of 60kg – he would virtually actually 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 gained the race for a second time in 1969.

Assume Massive had 58.5kg when he gained a second Melbourne Cup in 1975 and the good Makybe Diva accomplished her unprecedented Cup three-peat in 2005 below 58kg.

Carpenter identified that Stradivarius has gained a minimum of 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.

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

Viridine delights Corridor of Famers

Viridine earned a convincing endorsement from Corridor of Famers Hugh Bowman and Darren Beadman after an aesthetic win at Royal Randwick.

The heavy monitor 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, mentioned Viridine has the flexibility to be competing on the highest degree.

“You possibly can put him in a Group 1 and if he will get into the suitable place, he gained’t disappoint,’’ Bowman mentioned.

“I do know it’s a good distance from that degree right here in the present day however that’s the kind of horse he’s.’’

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

“After I was coaching, Viridine gained his first two begins for me,’’ Beadman mentioned. “Hughie is true, if the whole lot goes his approach he could be aggressive in these good races.

“The horse has at all times proven potential however has in all probability been his personal worst enemy. He usually needs to be two lengths forward of the place you need him to be within the run however in the present day it labored out nicely for him.’’

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

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

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

The Winter Sprint solely had six runners however it proved a compelling tactical race to look at 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 Reality ($6) with Southern Lad ($2.20 favorite) weakening within the run residence to complete greater than two lengths away third.

Invictus Prince, who as soon as ran second to the mighty Winx at Group 1 degree, didn’t appear enthusiastic 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 suitable horse.

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

“There was no query he wished to do it in the present day as as soon as I obtained off the heels of the favorite (Southern Lad) he put them to ‘bed’ in a few strides. The small subject and the nice draw helped so he had a couple of favours in the present day however he nonetheless obtained the job achieved 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 monitor however Beadman mentioned Viridine has responded to the coach’s affected person resolve which has additionally helped older sprinters like Coruscate and Esperance discover successful kind once more this winter.

“James could be very type to his horses and the older they get, they appear to understand it,’’ Beadman mentioned. “Slightly 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 8 – offered the Godolphin sprinter shouldn’t be weighted out of the characteristic race.

“However little fish are candy in the intervening time and it was good to get a win on the board with him,’’ Beadman mentioned. “Hopefully he’ll get some confidence again, he ought to take rather a lot out of that. It’s wonderful 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 mentioned 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 shall be first-up within the Epsom Handicap.

“I do know the Epsom is a giant ask to go straight there first-up however I’ll give Nettoyer two trials and she or he shall be prepared,’’ Roche mentioned.

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

“She is at all times flying residence in these dash races, she is the eye-catcher, she runs time, however it’s a waste of a run.

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

Nettoyer, Roche and jockey James Innes have been the feel-good story of The Championships at Royal Randwick final autumn. It was the bonny mare Nettoyer who charged residence 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 food regimen of pizza, champagne and beer.

“Nettoyer has had a superb spell and she or he seems to be nice,’’ Roche mentioned. “Simply the opposite night time, I gave her some pizza and champagne – she loves it.’’

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

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