Jim Cassidy Willing to Mentor Banned James McDonald
Standing on the shoulders of giants might not be the most accurate term to use in the case of Jim Cassidy’s offer to counsel banned jockey James McDonald whilst the latter sits out the next 18 months for betting on his mount Astern, but Cassidy has a similar experience in his past when he served a 21-month ban in 1995 for tipping horses, so perhaps it is more a case of the pot calling the kettle black.
McDonald could use a friend/mentor right about now, as the 24-year-old former darling of the Godolphin racing operation now finds himself on the outs, unemployed and a pariah in racing circles.
Cassidy survived his suspension and returned to prominence, and it is quite likely that McDonald could do the same, given that the world of sports in one where forgiveness is readily available for those who produce results.
If there is anything that truly threatens the future of McDonald, it could be a battle to remain or return to riding trim when the ban expires, as he has had weight issues plaguing him. Eighteen months with no need to waste could potentially pack on kilograms that might prove problematic to shed.
He will need every gram of the legendary Kiwi combativeness if he is to make a comeback and according to 104-time Group 1 winner Cassidy, McDonald has the wherewithal to match Cassidy’s time on the sidelines and come back to beat his rivals.