James McDonald will be off the track for a month with an ankle injury

Who will step in to replace James McDonald?

The presence of James McDonald is often a reassuring one with many betting apps and he will be missed on the Australian racing scene throughout September

James McDonald set to miss key month of the 2024 season

  • Kiwi jockey James McDonald ruled out of action for a month.
  • The champion jockey picked up injury on board Razors at Wyong Cup.
  • McDonald will be doing all he can to get back fit for key races in 2023.
  • Replacement jockeys are being lined up to step into McDonald’s saddle.

Picking up an injury during the season is the worst case scenario for many jockeys and James McDonald will be cursing his luck at the beginning of the 2023 season.

The champion rider came off Razors at the Wyong Cup, only to continue to ride for the next couple of days. However, further discomfort revealed a left foot fracture and he will be out for a month, much to the despair of punters and international betting sites alike, during a very busy period of the 2023 racing season.

When it comes to winning horse races, very few jockeys can be depended on by Aussie bookmakers and punters in equal measure, as much as James McDonald.

The 31-year-old Kiwi has churned out a stream of winners over the past decade and his services as a rider are highly sought after, in Australia and beyond.

Injuries come with the territory for even the best jockeys and whilst it will come with a sense of great frustration for McDonald that he isn’t able to ride, he is sure to come back refreshed and ready to challenge in the remaining weeks of the season.

However, for connections and trainers, finding suitable replacements for McDonald will be the key challenge, with seriously big riding boots to fill. 

Moore to the rescue

One of the most notable races being missed by McDonald over the next few weeks is the Golden Rose Group 1 contest at Rosehill Gardens at the back end of September.

McDonald had been lined up to saddle Shinzo, a Golden Slipper winner and there are very high hopes with many betting sites that Shinzo can go one better at Rosehill.

Such is the calibre of the horse and jockey, that a SOS call has been made to the UK for British champion jockey Ryan Moore to take up the reigns in this A$1 million race.

Few campaigners are as experienced as Moore and he is a more than capable replacement and connections will be hoping that he can bring home the bacon in this one.

Shinzo is the $4.50 favourite with Bet365 to clinch Golden Rose glory with Ryan Moore on board.

Grounded for the Flight Stakes

September is always a packed month in the Australian racing schedule and the Flight Stakes at Royal Randwick is a race that McDonald has enjoyed plenty of success in previously.

It could be a race he is targeting on September 30th as one he could be back in action for but with the initial diagnosis being one month, it could come a fraction too early for the Kiwi superstar.

Regardless of whether McDonald makes it to the Flight Stakes, it promises to be another superb race that is catching the eye with plenty of betting apps.

The absence of McDonald is sure to be a cause for optimism for a few horses and trainers on the periphery, with plenty of superb runners and riders going at it at Royal Randwick.

Currently, Legacies is the favourite to reign supreme at the Flight Stakes at $6.00 with BoomBet, whilst Miracle of Love will certainly be one to keep an eye on at $8.00 with PlayUp

Back in action at Flemington

Barring any huge injury setbacks or complications, James McDonald will be firmly back in the saddle by the time the Melbourne Cup comes around at Flemington.

Having bagged over 75 Group 1 winners as a jockey, McDonald’s record speaks for itself and his 2021 triumph on board Verry Elleegant in the Melbourne Cup is often referred to as his best.

With his Winx Stakes win back in August still fresh in the memory, any horse with McDonald on board is always seen as a viable option for punters and having McDonald back in the saddle will appeal to punters at both domestic and international betting sites.

As it stands, the Willie Mullins trained Vauban is the hot favourite for Melbourne Cup glory in 2023, at $5.00 with UniBet.

Champion jockey James McDonald looks set for a month on the sidelines following is fall at the Wyong Cup and the absence of him will not be music to the ears of many punters or Aussie bookmakers.

However, he with excellent replacements lined up in his absence and a one-month lay-off period, he should be back in time to shake up the Melbourne Cup once more in 2023.