Champion jockey commits to his Golden Slipper ride

Champion Sydney jockey James McDonald has declared his Golden Slipper hand by giving a commitment to the Richard and Michael Freedman-trained contender Stay Inside.

The most sought after rider in the Sydney jockeys’ room rode Stay Inside to his last start romp in the Pierro Plate where post race he declared “I just want to have another ride on him again”.

McDonald committed to the Extreme Choice colt on Monday for his next two starts in Saturday week’s Group 2 Todman Stakes and the $3.5 million Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on March 20.

James McDonald. Photo: Mark Evans/Getty Images.Source:Getty Images

“He rang yesterday and confirmed he will ride the colt,” co-trainer Michael Freedman said.

“He’ll ride in the Todman and if things go the right way he’ll ride the colt in the Slipper.

“James been on the back of a few over the past few weeks and we’re getting to that point of the carnival where riders need to make a firm decision one way or another and he was obviously impressed with the way the horse went the other day.

“I was very happy when he rang and told me he wants to stay on the colt and it’s one less thing for me to worry about.”

McDonald, a four-time and reigning champion Sydney jockey, rode his only Golden Slipper winner in 2014 when partnering Mossfun to victory.

Michael Freedman is under no illusions of the Todman Stakes task that awaits Stay Inside where he will clash with Profiteer, the $4 Golden Slipper favourite, in’s all-in market.

Michael Freedman. Photo: Mark Evans/Getty Images.Source:Getty Images

Stay Inside is on the second line of betting at $6.

“It looks like it’s going to some race,” Freedman said. “Profiteer, the Silver Slipper winner (Home Affairs) looks like he’s going there and there’s a few others as well.

“If you work, perhaps, on the assumption that the colts are looking stronger than most of the fillies’ it might be the real form race for the Slipper.

“I will be interested to see Mallory go around. I see she’s in the entries for the Sweet Embrace on Saturday. I’ve got a bit of time for her.”

It’s been a big nine days for the connections of Stay Inside after last week negotiating a deal to sell a share holding in the colt to Newgate Farm, who stand the sire Extreme Choice, and securing the services of McDonald.

James McDonald on Stay Inside combined to win the Pierro Plate earlier this month. Photo: Mark Evans/Getty Images.Source:Getty Images

“It’s been a big week for all involved,” Freedman said.

“Newgate secured an interest in the horse, to participate in his racing future and obviously with a view to hopefully standing him at stud one day.

“It’s good those things are all done now and we can focus on his preparations.”

Originally published asJames McDonald gives Golden Slipper commitment

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