James McDonald Stretching for 100
Milestones often serve as goals for athletes, and in the case of Sydney jockey James McDonald, the target for him is becoming the first jockey in nearly a decade to surpass the 100 victories in a season mark.
He seems certain to secure the Sydney premiership with 80.5 wins to this point in the season, but could use the 100-win milestone to serve as motivation to focus on the remaining Sydney metro meetings prior to heading overseas.
Second place jockey Hugh Bowman would need to perform superhuman feats in order to catch McDonald, as the former trails the latter by 24.5 wins with under 12 meetings remaining.
Somewhat odd, given the task, was McDonald’s decision to skip a recent mid-week Sydney meeting to return to New Zealand.
Darren Beadman was the last jockey to go beyond 100 wins in a season and he did that in spectacular fashion with 164 wins in the 2006-07 campaign.
McDonald recently won five races at Warwick on one day, which tied his best day ever in Australia, so it is entirely conceivable that he could reach 100 wins, provided he can avoid any suspensions.
He is scheduled to ride at Rosehill, followed by Hawkesbury and Doomben.