James McDonald to appeal suspension after riding four winners at Canterbury

Star jockey James McDonald will appeal a careless riding ban picked up at Canterbury on Wednesday in a bid to ride in Saturday weekโ€™s Queensland Oaks.

The premiership leader had enjoyed another red letter day in Sydney after piloting four winners but caught the attention of Racing NSW stewards for his steer on the Peter and Paul Snowden-trained Vigorous Flow.

Stewards found McDonald guilty of careless riding after the hoop shifted out at the 400m mark and hampered the Gwenda Markwell-trained Azaryah.

That's 3 for @mcacajamez at Canterbury! He pilots @SnowdenRacing1 3YO Vigorous Flow to a comfortable win in Race 6. pic.twitter.com/FVNQ9zsEJR

He was handed a three-meeting ban, set to begin next Thursday (June 3) and expire seven days later.

It would force McDonald to miss the Queensland Oaks meeting, where he has been booked to ride one of the leading contenders from the Chris Waller camp.

McDonald plans to file his appeal for the suspension on Thursday.

He has been in and out of town in recent weeks but the star hoop gave a quick reminder who is number one in Sydney with a four-timer at Canterbury.

The reigning Sydney champion rode the first two winners for Waller aboard Divina and Cape Breton before bookending the card with victories on Vigorous Flow and the Waller-trained Nyami.

McDonald has been spending recent Saturdays riding at the Brisbane winter carnival, where he recently combined with boom import Zaaki to win the Group 1 Doomben Cup.

In his absence fellow Sydney gun Tommy Berry has been working hard to reduce the margin in the Sydney jockeys’ premiership.

A winning treble last weekend at Rosehill boosted Berry’s tally to 94 for the season, cutting the margin to 10 behind McDonald.

However, a return to familiar ground at the mid-weeks saw McDonald quickly shore up his advantage.

“It makes it hard when you‘re not here but he is definitely chugging the right way and keeping me on my toes,” McDonald told Sky Racing of Berry’s title pursuit.

“He is riding very well and those Saturdays you've got to keep an eye on him.”

It's @mcacajamez and @cwallerracing kicking off the day in style at Canterbury as Divina gives favourite backers the perfect start at Canterbury ๐Ÿ‘Œ @aus_turf_clubpic.twitter.com/MxrApebrnf

Berry had one winner at the meeting while Waller also trained four winners, and the triumphs of lightly-raced two-year-olds Divina and Cape Breton aren’t likely to be their last.

McDonald had Divina ($3 fav) perfectly positioned outside the lead and the filly knuckled down late to win the Acy Securities Handicap (1250m).

“She is a very enthusiastic filly and once she gets deeper into her preparation and gets more mature mentally, she will develop into a nice filly,” McDonald said.

“She has got a very good will to win and tries very hard, probably over hard at time but she is very enthusiastic.

“It was good to get a result for Star Thoroughbreds and hopefully it goes on from here.”

[email protected] and @cwallerracing combine to win the first two at Canterbury! ๐Ÿ‘

Cape Breton finds the front at the top of the straight and staves off all challengers ๐Ÿ’ช pic.twitter.com/KOLXNqZYRe

A $600,000 yearling, Cape Breton was having his first start but showed plenty of promise when scoring in the Blue Point @ Darley Maiden Handicap (1250m).

“We’ve taken our time with him and he’s very much a work in progress,” Waller’s stable representative Charlie Duckworth said.

“He’s slowly putting it altogether and we were confident coming here today that we had the right horse.”

Berry piloted Waller’s other winner on the card, Canadian Spice.

Originally published asMcDonald to fight ban in bid to ride Oaks

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