Nature Strip jockey James McDonald is ‘physically ill’ as former Australian Horse of the Year clashes to win against Masked Crusader


It was the ultimate prize for the Australian pin-up jockey, who shook his head in disbelief as he stepped back up the ladder. Waller had instituted a gear shift for Everest, applying a barrier extension on the advice of McDonald’s to allow the enormous seven-year-old chestnut more stall space.

“I’ve been nervous with him before, but not today,” McDonald said. “Since [this race’s inception] I thought of [winning it]. I got goosebumps thinking about it [on Friday] night. I truly believe it was my time to shine and the horse’s time to shine. Everything is too good to be true at the moment.

“The rain was falling from the sky. When the track is released a Soft [5] I thought, ‘Okay’. You have no idea [how long the straight felt], it was like a minute. I have never experienced this in my life. “

Nash Rawiller, third-place runnergetter Eduardo and three-winner driver of the day, has been charged with excessive use of the whip during Everest, which used the persuader nine times before the 100-meter mark. The rule only allows five.

Rawiller was suspended for six meetings and fined $ 20,000. He will be free to ride Epsom-winning Private Eye in the $ 7.5 million Golden Eagle if he immediately begins his ban.

“I was shocked to have passed,” Rawiller told commissioners. “I don’t think I was aware I used it as much as I did. I don’t think it was the heat of the moment. I tried to stay as close to the winner as possible. I know it’s a big race and not ideal, but I probably felt like I only touched it three times.

Chief Steward Marc Van Gestel said: “There is no greater race than this race. We have to reflect that in the penalty we impose.

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