James McDonald Ready for Cox Plate with ‘Airborne’ Ride

Fri 23rd October 2020

Star jockey James McDonald has traveled down from Sydney and completed his five days of quarantine, and is ready to get stuck into a strong book of rides across the Cox Plate Carnival at Moonee Valley.

The book is headlined by his ride on Kolding in the 2020 Cox Plate (2040m), a horse that he has described as ‘airborne’, while speaking to RSN.

“The horse is airborne, he’s deadset flying, I wouldn’t read into too much about his Melbourne form vs his Sydney form, he’s just a very good horse on his day”, McDonald said.

Watch: Kolding take out the Group 2 Hill Stakes last start.

McDonald is on another highly rated runner for the Waller camp, teaming up with Shared Ambition in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Gold Cup.

“He’s going terrific, he’s had a bit of a stop start sort of campaign, his first start was a bit of a backfire for them, he just got caught wide, he pulled quite hard and they were trying to get him to settle.

“Chris [Waller] hit the nail on the head, they hold him in really high regard … they thought he would be running last week in the Caulfield Cup so this is a bit of a drop down in class and hopefully he gets the chance to recapture his good form.”

Watch: Shared Ambition just miss in the Kingston Town Stakes two starts ago.


McDonald also spoke on Chris Waller’s imported galloper Olmedo who lines up in the Crystal Mile on Saturday, and Godolphin’s unlucky sprinter Lyre who is seeking a return to the winners list in Friday’s Manikato Stakes.

On Olmedo:

“He’s trialed reasonably well, we look forward to seeing him at the races and seeing what he can do under race pressure, he’s more than capable being a Group 1 winner in France, and if he can recapture that form he should be a very good chance.”

On Lyre:

“Looking forward to riding her, she’s obviously got a good barrier and a little bit of rain won’t hurt her chances, and obviously the speed on… so she should get every chance to find the line… hopefully tonight’s her night.”

From Muswellbrook to the Melbourne Cup, Will is mad about all things racing and sport. Spent countless hours in the backyard as a child pretending to be Glenn McGrath, and has been known to get deadly late swing with a taped tennis ball.