Hottest Jockey on the Planet
Nineteen-year-old Cambridge jockey James McDonald is the hottest teenage rider on the planet after a remarkable 12 months of smashing records in New Zealand. McDonald now has his sights on Melbourne’s feature cups double. In three months, he will be back in Flemington for the Melbourne Cup aboard Queensland Oaks winner Scarlett Lady. “It’s my first chance to win the Caulfield and Melbourne cups and chances on horses like her won’t come along too often,” McDonald said. Backed by Peter Vela, one of New Zealand’s biggest owners, McDonald set a New Zealand record of 27 winners last season and while that total is impressive — he is the first New Zealander to break 2 winners in a season — his strike-rate of rides to winners is staggering. Last season, he won a race every 4.46 rides. McDonald began riding in 27.