James McDonald was over the moon after winning the last at Rosehill on Saturday. It gave him a treble for the day but more importantly gave him 100 1/2 winners for the season which just about guarantees the premiership for 2019/20 as he is 20 wins in front of Nash Rawiller. It is the second season in a row he has ridden in excess of 100 winners.
Quite correctly there were plenty of congratulations but James was quick to point out it was well short of records set by Darren Beadman who is now assistant trainer to James Cummings who is in charge of the huge Godolphin team of horses.
Darren has a record as a jockey that puts him among the greatest of all time. Darren won the Sydney metropolitan Jockeys premiership seven times in a row and five times rode more than a 100 winners for the season. His record for most winners in a season still stands with 164 winners in 2006/07. Darren was inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame in 1999. He is the only jockey to be inducted whilst still riding. Around the world he rode 94 Group One winners including two Melbourne Cups: Kingston Rule 1990 and Saintly 1996; Epsom and Doncaster Super Impose 1991, Cox Plate Saintly 1996, three-year-old Triple Crown Canterbury and Rosehill Guineas and AJC Derby Octagonal 1991, plus a string of WFA Group Ones aboard beautiful black stallion LONHRO, a son of Octagonal.
Racing people should hop on YouTube and watch the performance of horse and jockey in the 2004 Australian Cup. There was a sensation in 1997 when Darren decided to retire from riding announcing he was going to study to be a pastor. When he informed top trainer Bart Cummings, Bart suggested, "He should get a second opinion" but Darren did spend time in the ministry.
He did return to riding and rode for Hong Kong trainer John Moore riding a string of winners that saw Moore win his first premiership after 20 years. Sadly his riding career finished after being badly injured when a horse fell during a barrier trial. He was at death's door for a period of time but has fought back health wise and is again back with the horses as assistant trainer with James Cummings preparing the Coolmore team. James has been given three weeks' suspension for his ride on Threeood at Randwick a fortnight ago. He will appeal the decision.
A nun receives a letter from her parents. With the letter is a $50 note for the poor. The nun is wondering who to donate the money to when she happens to look out the window and sees a disheveled man sitting on the wall of the convent garden. The man looks very depressed so the nun called him over and drops the money saying, "Don't despair". The man picks up the money and hurries away. The next day the nun is told she has a visitor and is surprised to see the disheveled man waiting for her. He hands her a bundle of notes saying "Sister here's your winnings. Don't Despair won at 20/1. I had a bit on myself."