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James McDonald - Nathan Berry Medal Front-Runner

By Mark Brassel

Champion rider James McDonald is the one to beat after surging to the lead in this year's prestigious Nathan Berry Medal.

McDonald took the riding honours on Day 1 of The Star Championships with victories aboard Anamoe in the Inglis Sires' and Nature Strip in the Heineken TJ Smith Stakes.

Ace rider James McDonald after winning the TJ Smith Stakes on Nature Strip. Image by Bradley Photographers

The three points from each win makes McDonald a clear leader in the Medal with Kerrin McEvoy traiiling by two points on four, with a further point to Jamie Kah, Tommy Berry, Tom Marquand, John Allen.

McEvoy, who was runner-up last year when beaten by Glen Boss on a countback, had to be content with seconds on Hilal in the Inglis Sires' and Masked Crusader in the Heineken TJ Smith Stakes.

Jamie Kah burst into contention by winning The Star Doncaster Mile on Cascadian.

6 - James McDonald
4 - Kerrin McEvoy
3 - Jamie Kah, Tommy Berry, Tom Marquand, John Allen
2 - Jay Ford, Brenton Avdulla, Nick Heywood
1 - Jason Holder, Grant Buckley

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