Kiwi Partnership Building For 2011 Victoria Derby

August 22nd, 2011

Kiwi superstar James McDonald already has an Australian Group 1 to his name but he could be looking to add the 2011 Victoria Derby to that list as well.

McDonald is due to fly back to New Zealand ahead of the first up run of Scarlett Lady in the Challenge Stakes but not before he fulfils an important engagement here first.

He will partner Sangster on Tuesday in what will be his first start on Australian soil.

The three year old is trained by Trent Busuttin and is being touted as a genuine threat for some of the big races later in the carnival.

McDonald worked the horse on Saturday morning and reports are he’s settled in perfectly since arriving in the country last week.

There’s no doubt there’s plenty of natural ability there but the true test will probably come in managing the horse to produce his best.

On debut he won easily putting 6.5 lengths on his nearest rival.

He went straight from that run to Listed grade but found the going too tough never getting into the race and finishing well off the pace.

He’s been spelled since then and in a trial at the start of August signs were once again promising when McDonald got him across the line in first spot.

In addition to the 2011 Victoria Derby Sangster is likely to first feature in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes at Randwick on the second of October.
“He’s done well and we should get a line on Tuesday as to whether he’s good enough to be over here or not,’ Busuttin said.

“It looks like quite a nice field so we should be able to gauge where he’s at.

“He can go on to the Ming Dynasty and Spring Champion Stakes if he’s good enough.

“”We’ve got him in the Caulfield Guineas as well and we’ll also put him in the Victoria Derby if he proves he’s good enough.”

If he does get as far as the Victoria Derby he’ll no doubt be given the best of rides from McDonald who has proved a revelation on both sides of the Tasman.

He became the first jockey to ever ride over 200 winners in a season in New Zealand and in Australia he’s struck up a winning partnership with trainer John O’Shea.

Add that to his success in the Brisbane winter carnival and McDonald is well and truly a jockey to follow over the spring.

His next shot at Group 1 glory in Australia will come in the Golden Rose where he picks up the mount of Foxwedge form the suspended regular rider Nash Rawiller.