McDonald Ban for Astern Bet Proves Exceedingly Costly

In news that was basically anticipated, Godolphin has severed ties with jockey James McDonald following his ban for betting on a horse that he was riding. Even though McDonald bet on his mount to win, which indeed it did, that sort of thing does not sit well with stewards.

Godolphin’s zero-shenanigan tolerance policy was in full display and there is now a prime seat available for someone to replace McDonald in the stable, leaving a $1 million job opportunity for some fortunate hoop.

McDonald will not be permitted to ride for 18 months, all over a paltry $1000 bet placed by professional punter Anthony Gardiner on McDonald’s mount Astern. The resultant win only brought McDonald $4000, so on balance, it would seem to be an exceedingly poor return on investment and an error in judgement that could well have career and life-long consequences for the 24-year-old jockey.

Quite probably, there is no better position to be had in Australian thoroughbred racing than as the head rider for Godolphin, lest it be working for Chris Waller and raiding Winx, as is Hugh Bowman’s current situation.

Brenton Avdulla and Tim Clark, both of whom have ridden in back-up capacities for Goldolphin, could be considered prime candidates to replace McDonald.

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