McDonald duo primed for Addington

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk

While Champion expat New Zealand jockey James McDonald will by vying for Group Two success at Rosehill on Saturday, a day earlier a harness racing trainer of the same name will be hoping to kick-off his season in winning fashion at Addington Raceway.

Ladbrooks trainer James McDonald said he often gets comments referring to his name, particularly a few years ago when the jockey was based in New Zealand.

“I do get a few comments about the name, but I have been around longer than him,” McDonald quipped.

“It’s quite funny, I won my first race with a horse called Misty Diamond, and in the same week James McDonald rode a galloper with the same name, I think he may have won.

“I don’t follow galloping that much, but I always keep an eye out for him, he is a very good jockey.”

While McDonald will be keeping an eye on Rosehill on Saturday, he is looking forward to lining up a couple of promising pacers at Addington Raceway on Friday night.

Last-start winner Eastwood Isabella will contest the Allied Security Mobile Pace (1980m) and McDonald believes she is a strong chance despite drawing nine.

“She is going terrific at the moment,” he said. “She has been a bit of a surprise really. She will go another good race on Friday.

“I think one that could give her a few problems though is the one of the Hope’s (Luella), but I think she can handle the rest of the field.

“She has got a bad draw, but that won’t matter, she tends to come from the back anyway.”

The six-year-old mare picked up a penalty-free win when driven to victory last start by junior driver Dylan Ferguson and McDonald is hoping for a repeat performance.

“She got driven beautifully by Dylan Ferguson and she was probably too good for those horses on the day,” he said.

“It was a good win for her so she stays in the same class.”

McDonald will also line-up Eastwood Ideal in the Trackside Dining At Addington Mobile Pace (1980m).

“Eastwood Ideal is a really nice horse,” McDonald said. “He went really well last week. He just came up against Krug and a few others. He went around and sat parked and stuck on really well.

“He should go another good race. I think they are both good each-way chances.”

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