Sydney Races: George Ryder Stakes Day

James McDonald will stage It’s Me in The Kosciuszko

There will be a new jockey in the saddle when It’s Me tries to become the first horse to win The Kosciuszko twice at Randwick on October 15.

The Brett Cavanough-trained mare is the $4.50 favorite on’s Kosciuszko Market and regular jockey Jason Collett has been forced to end his partnership with the mare due to a commitment to Montefilia , formed by David Payne.

Montefilia takes part in the Caulfield Cup on the same day as The Kosciuszko who decides Collett to end his partnership with the mare and he has been replaced by the best Australian jockey James McDonald.


“He’s a handy replacement,” Cavanough said.

“James actually identified her when she won a Highway in 2020.

“He phoned Jack (Cavanough) early on a Sunday morning to try to catch him, but these Kiwis are sticking together because other than that he never tried to catch him.

“With Jason locked in to ride Montefilia, now was the perfect opportunity to see if James was still interested in riding it and it turns out he is.”

James McDonald will take the reins aboard It’s Me for the mare’s next two starts. Photo: Jenny Evans-Getty Images

McDonald will have her first seat on the six-year-old mare in Saturday’s Group 2 Premiere Stakes (1200m) when It’s Me takes on some of the best sprinters in the country, bound for Everest.

“For now, James will ride her in the first and the Kosciuszko,” Cavanough said.

“Afterwards, it’s in tune with the times.

“I would like to bring her to The Invitation, but we haven’t had an invitation yet and, as some owners have told me, there is also a lot of money spent in the south.

“I would say if she runs well in the first one, she should be considered for the invite and that’s my favorite race.”

This Is Me showed she was back to something like her best when she was unlucky before finishing fourth in the Group 2 Sheraco Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on September 10.

“I had to go back inside to run and never really got clear until it was all over,” said Kerrin McEvoy.

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