“Because he’s the best jockey in Australia.”
Sometimes you’ve got to ask a silly question and that was trainer Angela Davies’ first response when asked why she has been so keen for James McDonald to partner her talented sprinter Our Kobison as much as possible.
As we know McDonald is a man in high demand and the Gosford trainer elaborates to say she admires the way he handles a horse so why wouldn’t you want him on board.
So far the champion jockey has a two from two record on the four-year-old, one back in August and last start, and will shoot for three in the Schweppes Handicap (1200m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
“I just love the way James can get horses to their top without getting to the bottom of them,’’ Davies said.
“He never rushes them through their gears, the way he rides he encourages them to keep picking up before he reaches for the persuader.
“He has a good way of teaching horses how to get through their gears and that impresses me.
“There was never any hesitation that he wasn’t going to get on this Saturday. He has a good opinion of the horse as I do and we hope he can reach that stakes level.”
Our Kobison, $2 with TAB on Thursday, faces a little test at Rosehill as he steps to 1200m for the first time and though Davies is confident that won’t be an issue it’s an important box to tick.
The gelding held 1-1/4 lengths on his opposition in his second-up win, where he was held up for a run until half way down the straight, two weeks ago.
He reeled off the fastest last 200m (10.85, Punter’s Intelligence) in winning that race and a slick final 600m of 32.81.
“I suspect he will run it but that will be a string to his bow if he can get a strong 1200m, that opens up a lot of races for him,’’ Davies said.
“I’ve said to the owners let’s just steady him through his benchmark and see how we go.
“Times are everything and he was always able to reel off the fastest sectionals of the day so it made you excited thinking I wonder how far he will go.”
Davies said she has something in the back of her mind for Our Kobison if he records his fifth career win this weekend but it’s unlikely the big class test will happen this preparation.
“By the time we want to give him a break, which will probably be another couple of runs, we’ll know exactly where we are heading in the spring,’’ she said.
“I haven’t got too far ahead of myself yet but I know there’s a couple of races coming up.
“He doesn’t carry a lot of condition so I don’t want to bottom out before we have to give him a short break and get the weight back on him.”
Meanwhile, Davies said her major Polytrack Provincial-Midway Championships contender Karedada is back on track and being set for the qualifying race at Gosford on March 16.
– Racing NSW