James McDonald: looking forward to more Godolphin ridesPICTURE: John Grossick (racingpost.com/photos)
McDonald relishing Godolphin opportunities
RISING STAR James McDonald is out to blaze a trail in Britain after being handed the Godolphin baton from the banned William Buick.
Already a big name in Australia, the 24-year-old New Zealander announced himself in Britain with victory in last Saturday's Northumberland Plate and will now enjoy an extended stay after Buick's 30-day ban.
Described as world-class by Charlie Appleby, trainer of Plate hero Antiquarium, McDonald expressed his sympathy for Goldophin team-mate Buick but is relishing an "unbelievable" opportunity to shine at the big summer festivals at Newmarket and Goodwood.
He said: "It's a bit unfortunate with the circumstances, but I'm looking forward to getting more opportunities and I'm happy to fill in the gaps when I can. They're two prestigious meetings and it's unbelievable to have the opportunity to be involved."
The Kiwi, who rides Secret Brief for Appleby in Saturday's Coral Challenge at Sandown, is Godolphin's principal rider in Australia and has made a big impact since being signed up by Sheikh Mohammed's team last March.
"He's retained by us for a reason. He's a world-class rider, is very accomplished and is part of the team," Appleby said. "James rode for us last year when he was over for a spell and did a great job on Antiquarium in the Northumberland Plate."
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