Ex Kiwi jockey turned top Sydney hoop James McDonald’s spring just got brighter with the young star booked to partner with exciting Japanese raider Real Impact in the 2015 Doncaster Mile.
McDonald will ride the Deep Impact stallion for both his scheduled Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival targets during The Championships with the $1 million Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 21.
Following the George Ryder Real Impact will then contest his major aim, the $3 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Royal Randwick on April 4.
A winner of three of his 21 starts to date, seven-year-old Real Impact is lightly-raced for his age and showed he had lost none of his spark with a first-up win at home last month.
Racing for the first time since a failed 13th to Just A Way, rated the best racehorse in the world for 2014, in the Grade 1 Yasuda Kinen (1609m) at Tokyo back in June last year, the miler narrowly defeated Copano Richard by a nose in the Group 2 Hanshin Cup (1408m).
That was his first victory since winning the same race 12 months earlier, Real Impact having also won the 2011 edition of the Yasuda Kinen just four runs into his career.
A handful of Japanese-trained raiders are set to make an impact on the Sydney Group 1s this autumn adding a strong international flavor to the carnival.
He will ride both To The World and World Ace for their major assignments down under over the coming months.
Four-year-old To The World will target the $1.5 million Group 1 The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill on March 28 then shoot for the big prize money offered up in the $4 million Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 11.
Six-year-old World Ace’s targets are then the same as Real Impacts with the George Ryder Stakes and Doncaster Mile both on his agenda.
Futures Doncaster Mile odds at Ladbrokes.com.au are currently led by another international visitor, Hong Kong’s Able Friend ($6).
The John Moore-trained son of Shamardal was last seen scoring an impressive four and a half-length victory over Gold-Fun in the Group 1 Hong Kong Mile (1600m) in mid-December.
World Ace is then the $8 second pick while Real Impact is at $11.
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