By Brad Gray
In James McDonald's own words, you do the crime you do the time.
The jockey returned to riding at Warwick Farm on Wednesday, after a serving his 18 month disqualification for betting, and rode a winner at his first ride back.
Cormac went around an odds-on favourite and prevailed under the strong urgings of McDonald, getting the better of the Chris Waller-trained stablemate Smiling Manolito.
Cormac and James McDonald combining at Warwick Farm
“My legs are a bit jelly, I didn’t need a tight finish to start off the day,” McDonald said, smiling.
“It’s been well documented over the past week how much I have matured and hopefully this is the start of bigger and better things. I want to move on and this is a good starting point.
“My family have made the trip over from New Zealand, my girlfriend is here Katelyn (Mallyon) and my best mate.”
Cormac sat outside of Smiling Manolito in the run home with the pair dictating the small field, having made mid-race moves, before kicking clear to hold a margin on the rest of their rivals.
“He found the line really well. They were two horses that came away from the field and he just toughed it out the best,” said McDonald.
Waller’s stable representative Charlie Duckworth doesn’t expect it to be the last time we see Cormac in the winners’ stall, especially once he get over further. Duckworth was also quick to heap praise on McDonald.
“It was a bit of a concern dropping back to the 1400m. (Cormac) still has a bubble cheeker on because he can hang in - he can do the odd thing wrong,” said Duckworth.
“It was great for James to win on his first ride back and Kerrin (McEvoy) made sure he was nice and fit, testing him all the way to the line. It’s great to have him back riding for us and riding winners already.”
— Australian Turf Club (@atc_races) May 16, 2018