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James McDonald seeks ban reduction

Jockey James McDonald is attempting to have an 18-month disqualification for a betting offence reduced on appeal.

McDonald is fronting the Racing NSW Appeals Panel on Monday over the ban imposed by stewards in December.

The 25-year-old, who succeeded Kerrin McEvoy as Godolphin’s leading jockey in March 2015, was outed after admitting to placing a $1000 bet on Astern when the John O’Shea-trained colt made a winning debut at Randwick on December 5, 2015.

McDonald admitted to making a $4000 profit on the bet lodged on his behalf by professional punter Anthony Gardiner who has resisted Racing NSW stewards’ attempts to interview him.

The jockey stood himself down in November 15, 2015 when he was approached by stewards investigating the matter.

Betting offences carry a mandatory minimum two-year disqualification with McDonald given a discount for his guilty plea and co-operation with stewards.

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