Te Rapa engagement adds to big weekend for McDonald

Former Cambridge jockey James McDonald will be back on familiar soil next Monday after a hectic weekend amid the excitement of Melbourne Spring racing.

McDonald is in the spotlight as the rider of Kiwi superstar It’s A Dundeel in tomorrow’s Gr. 1 Sportingbet Cox Plate at Moonee Valley. He has rides in nine of the 10 rides tomorrow and he will also be in action on the same course tonight with three rides.

After the buzz of riding the favourite It’s A Dundeel in the Melbourne Cup, McDonald will be heading to New Zealand to ride at Te Rapa on Monday. The main reason for his trip is the mount on Miss Foxwood in the day’s feature, the Gr. 3 James and Annie Sarten Memorial Stakes.

Trained at Cambridge by Roger James, Miss Foxwood will be facing her biggest test, but she has looked very promising. With a win and two placings from as many starts.

A daughter of champion sire Fastnet Rock and James’ Gr. 1 2000 Guineas winner Foxwood, the filly was most impressive when striking better footing at Taupo last start. Ridden by Mark Du Plessis, she raced away over the final stages to win by four and a half lengths.

McDonald took notice of that Taupo win and is thrilled to have been given the ride on Monday.

“I really like her,” said James. “I chased up the ride. It’s been a fair while since I have seen a maiden win like that. Her turn of foot was exceptional.”

McDonald says he is likely to return to ride Miss Foxwood in the Gr. 1 NZ Bloodstock 1000 Guineas if she measures up on Monday.