McDonald Appeal Dismissed, Avdulla Picks Up Ride on Secret Admirer

An appeal by James McDonald against a 14-meeting suspension for his Melbourne Cup ride on Fiorente has been dismissed meaning the New Zealand jockey will be unable to ride in Saturday’s Emirates Stakes meeting at Flemington.

James McDonald and Solzhenitsyn

James McDonald (pictured) will not be riding on Emirates Stakes Day. Photo by: Daniel Costello.

McDonald was found guilty of careless riding for directing Fiorente out from behind Ethiopia at the 800m mark and making what stewards described as “heavy contact” with Sanagas.

The decision has resulted in a number of jockey changes for the final day of the carnival including key mount Secret Admirer who will now be ridden by Brenton Avdulla in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m).

While it is a disappointing end to the Melbourne Cup Carnival for McDonald, Avdulla is thrilled with the opportunity to be back aboard the dual Group 1 winner.

“Back on Secret Admirer for the Emirates! Hopefully can finish with A Group 1!” Avdulla said on twitter.

Leading Sydney jockey Hugh Bowman has picked up the ride on New Zealand mare Silent Achiever who is an odds-on favourite in the Group 2 Matriarch Stakes (2000m) while Craig Williams is the new rider for Lightinthenite in the Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m).

Steven Arnold has also benefited from McDonald’s suspension and will ride Satin Shoes in the Group 1 Patinack Farm Classic (1200m).

McDonald’s suspension began on November 8 and ends on November 20.

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