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James McDonald wins G1 Zabeel Classic

Jockey James McDonald (file image)
James McDonald was triumphant in three races at Ellerslie including the Group One Zabeel Classic.

Premier Sydney jockey James McDonald has made a triumphant homecoming, winning the Group One Zabeel Classic at Ellerslie in New Zealand on True Enough.

McDonald picked up the ride on the Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained gelding in Thursday’s 2000m-race when his original mount Supera was injured.

He rode True Enough to win the Thames Cup (1600m) in January and said the horse had blossomed in the intervening 12 months.

“I am two from two on him now. He might have to follow me across the Tasman,” McDonald told NZ Racing Desk.

“If you had told me that a year ago (that he would win a Group One), I would probably have said he wouldn’t have got out of that handicap grade, but he has done a marvellous job.

“It’s well-deserved for the horse. He has been so consistent the whole way through.

Earlier in the day, McDonald rode Jennifer Eccles to win the Group Two Carat Classic (1600m) and Only In Jakarta to win another support race on the program.

Co-trainer Forsman was rapt with True Enough’s win.

“Every time we raise the bar for him he just keeps stepping up, and now he is a Group One winner,” Forsman said.

“He ran out the mile at Wellington as though he needed 2000 metres and it had to be a good ride in a quality field today and it was spot-on.

“We have no real plans. He may deserve a break now off the back of that and consider racing into the atumn.”

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