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McDonald new jockey for Blair House in Underwood

J A McGrath

James McDonald has been booked to ride Godolphin’s Blair House in Sunday’s G1 Underwood Stakes at Caulfield in Melbourne.

McDonald takes over from William Buick and James Doyle, the stable’s two retained jockeys, who shared riding the gelding in Dubai earlier in the year.

Doyle had the better record on Blair House — he was two wins from two rides, including the G1 Jebel Hatta, over 1,800m, at Meydan.

Trainer Charlie Appleby confirmed the riding arrangements on his arrival back in the UK from a successful raid on last weekend’s Caulfield meeting.

“James McDonald will ride Blair House in the Underwood on Sunday. James has ridden for us before — and Blair House is reportedly in fine form following his final piece of serious work at Werribee on Saturday morning,”

Appleby believes Blair House has the progressive profile to make his mark at this Melbourne Spring Carnival.