James McDonald joined Godolphin as a retained jockey in March 2015 and is first choice rider for trainer John O’Shea.
The New Zealand born jockey had his first ride on board Altesino at Ruakaka racecourse in August 2007 and went on to land his first success on Johnnie The Sand at Te Rapa racecourse in the same month. By the age of 20 James had collected four New Zealand apprentice titles and two full premierships.
James made the permanent move to Australia in 2012 and today is considered among the top echelons of jockeys with a host of impressive victories, including more than 20 Group Ones, to his name already.
2014 was a remarkable year in James’ career that featured Group One success in the Golden Slipper, ATC Oaks, Queen Elizabeth Stakes and Caulfield Guineas. He also clinched the Sydney Jockey Premiership, becoming the first New Zealander to do so in 14 years.
Godolphin’s first Group One success since establishing a presence in Australia came when Contributer landed the Chipping Norton Stakes at Warwick Farm in February 2015, ridden by James McDonald. He has since recorded Group One victories for Godolphin on Hartnell, Exosphere and Astern to name a few.