McDonald to be Barbied Again by Racing Stewards

We would dearly love to be providing some valuable horse racing news, but unfortunately, it is December, the silly season, and the closest thing to news of any sort typically involves some sort of cheating connected to gambling or illicit performance enhancing substances, and today is no exception.

The James McDonald saga plods along. McDonald stood himself down when news that he had a punt on Astern, the horse he was riding in a race at Randwick last year. Racing stewards have been talking to every and anyone in the attempt to be thorough, sometimes more than once.

It is not clear that McDonald had any influence in Astern’s firming significantly before the race the three-year-old bay colt went on to win. It could simply have been a case of punters coming to the conclusion that the five-time winner and two-time placer from eight starts was an exceptional value, even when he firmed to $3.50 at the jump. With a record such as that, Astern should have been no longer than $2.00.

It would seem fishy in the extreme had McDonald rode the horse to lose, but if that were the case, then he would be guilty of nothing other than being the most inept cheater of all time.

The affair has been dragging on since the race last December and makes us call to mind the MLB incident where Pete Rose, as manager of the Cincinnati Reds, was found to be backing his team to win games.

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