We’re only six weeks into the new season, but star hoop James McDonald has already built a commanding lead in the Sydney jockey’s premiership.
James Mcdonald has brought up an early double after winning the first two races at Wednesday’s metropolitan meeting held at Gosford.
The star hoop extended his lead in the metropolitan jockey’s premiership to 12 after steering two progressive horses to victory.
The opener saw the Team Hawkes-trained Kooled get the nod in a photo finish after racing greenly under pressure in the straight.
The son of Frosted wasn’t disgraced in the Group Two VRC Sires’ Produce in his second start last autumn and justified his short quote on Wednesday with a close first-up victory.
McDonald said the three-year-old colt has a bright future ahead of him.
“He oozes a lot of quality, once the penny drops, he’s going to be a ‘goodie’,” he said.
“He did a lot of things wrong today, but in saying that, (it is) a tight turning track and it’s probably the first time he’s seen that, as well as leading, which probably wasn’t ideal.
“He was like a crab, going left instead of going straight.
“It just shows how much ability he’s got. He’s a lovely raw horse with plenty to play with.”
McDonald bought up the double with the Chris Waller-trained Solar Apex winning comfortably on resumption, beating home his stablemate in Shibli.
Returning a gelding, the son of Deep Impact showed a great turn of foot, pulling away over the final 100m to win by 1.75 lengths.
The four-year-old finished last campaign finishing down the track in the Group One SA Derby, and Waller believes he’s up to Saturday grade.
“He’s come back better this preparation,” he said.
“He’s a gelding now, so he’s just concentrating that little bit more.
“I guess the key will be, will he take the next step and be a decent Saturday class horse? I think he will.
“Certainly, off the back of that he looks like he’s heading in the right direction.”
McDonald has now ridden 20 metropolitan winners this season, with Kerrin Mcevoy next with eight wins.
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