James McDonald has careless riding ban overturned for Queensland Oaks, picks up ride on Ayrton

Star jockey James McDonald is free to ride Grace And Harmony in Saturday’s Group 1 Queensland Oaks after successfully appealing a careless riding ban on Wednesday.

And in a double victory for Sydney’s leading hoop, he’s been snapped up for the coveted ride on boom three-year-old Ayrton for his next start on Stradbroke Handicap day.

McDonald fronted the Racing NSW Appeal Panel on Wednesday to fight a careless riding ban picked up for his ride the Peter and Paul Snowden-trained Vigorous Flow at Canterbury last Wednesday.

He received a three-meeting suspension from stewards for causing interference at the top of the straight on a day where he extended his premiership lead with four winners.

The star jockey immediately exercised his right to appeal in a bid to ride in the Queensland Oaks and had the decision overturned at a hearing on Wednesday.

McDonald has already piloted two Group 1 wins in Brisbane this winter on Zaaki in the Doomben Cup and Kukeracha in last Saturday’s Queensland Derby.

Grace And Harmony winning at the Gold Coast. Picture: Trackside PhotographySource:Supplied

Grace And Harmony is one of the leading contenders in Saturday’s Group 1 and is one of six Chris Waller-trained runners set to tackle the 2200m feature.

TAB fixed odds have Grace And Harmony on the third line of betting for the Oaks at $6.50.

McDonald has also been booked to pilot unbeaten two-year-old Cape Breton for Waller in the Listed The Phoenix (1500m) and Blondeau in the Listed Queensland Day Stakes (1200m).

He will ride two-time Group 1 winner Nettoyer in the $500,000 Queensland Sapphire Stakes, run under the name Magic Millions National Classic (1600m).

Seven days later he will now steer the Mick Price and Michael Kent Jr-trained Ayrton in the Group 3 Gunsynd Classic (1600m).

McDonald will replace Jamie Kah in the saddle with the Victorian-based star likely to remain in Melbourne to ride on Stradbroke Handicap day due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Ayrton failed to qualify for the $1.5 million Stradbroke Handicap after being beaten as a $1.50 favourite in the win and you’re in Group 3 Fred Best Classic.

McDonald also has bookings for Mr Quickie in the Stradbroke Handicap, Ranch Hand in the JJ Atkins and Odeum in the Dane Ripper Stakes.

Originally published asJ-Mac’s double win after beating careless riding ban

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