60 Seconds with James McDonald
What made you want to pursue a career in racing?
I had no interest in being in racing when I was young. I just wanted to earn enough money to buy a dairy farm!
What is your favourite raceday in New Zealand?
The Karaka million night - the atmosphere is electric.
You have enjoyed much success during your career so far, which is most special to you?
I enjoy any success I encounter. However, riding my first winner at Royal Ascot aboard Expert Eye in 2018 was a huge thrill.
Of all the horses you’ve ridden, who is your favourite?
Dundeel. He put me on the map in Australia. Guiseppina is also very special to me. She is trained and owned by good friends, ‘Rambo’ and Sir Peter (Vela).
What is the best piece of advice you've received?
Be brave, take risks and never fail to prepare.
Who do you look up to?
When I knew I wanted to be a jockey Brett Prebble and Lance O’Sullivan really stood out to me as role models.
How do you define success?
There are so many ways to define success. One I live by is “failing to prepare is preparing to fail.”
If you could invite three people for dinner, living or dead, who would you invite?
Donald Trump, Floyd Mayweather and Rafael Nadal.
If you could switch lives with someone for a day, who would it be?
Dustin Johnston (golfer). I'd invite Leith Innes for a round of golf and would be sure to beat him - haha!
What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I’m very superstitious, especially when it comes to racing!