James McDonald has made a perfect start to his first Goodwood
festival by winning the feature race on the opening day, the Gr. 2 Qatar
Lennox Stakes for his retainers Godolphin.
McDonald has been in sensational form since hitting his straps on his
third mid-year sojourn to the United Kingdom. His overnight win on the
Charlie Hills-trained Dutch Connection took his tally to 17 wins from 77
race rides. Earlier major wins include the Gr. 2 Princess of Wales’s
Stakes at Newmarket on Big Orange, while he has failed to ride a winner
on only one of the past 10 racedays he has competed.
Dutch Connection was one of six rides on the first day of Glorious
Goodwood and as well as the win McDonald also rode three second
“He’s an awesome horse, I can’t believe I’ve won a big race for
Charlie Hills,” McDonald told the Racing Post after Dutch Connection had
beaten fellow Godolphin runner Home Of The Brave. “He brought me over
three years ago and had so much faith in me, I can’t thank him enough.”
Lambourn-based Hills was equally effusive about the 24-year-old Kiwi.
“He’s a world-class jockey. We’re going to see a lot of him,” Hills
said. “He’s very laid-back, has a good relationship with horses and is
McDonald is booked for five rides on Goodwood’s second day, headed by
Toormore, a 25-to-one prospect for the Gr. 1 Sussex Stakes, and Nayyar,
who is listed at 8-1 for the Gr. 3 Molecomb Stakes.
The recent one-month suspension handed to Godolphin jockey William
Buick meant an extension of McDonald’s northern stint. When speaking
recently with www.theinformant.co.nz he said that he planned to pack his
bags for Australia in the first week of August and hopefully take time
for a beach holiday in the south of France before linking up again with
Godolphin’s Sydney trainer John O’Shea.