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A lean couple of weeks for Sydney’s leading jockey has ended with James McDonald getting Alucinari home in a photo-finish to the Listed Denise’s Joy Stakes at Scone.

Saturday’s win was McDonald’s first since he steered Furnaces to success at the Hawkesbury meeting on April 30 and he had five minor placings on Friday, the first day of the Scone Cup carnival.



His frustrating run of second and third prizes has almost been matched by his employer Godolphin which has produced a couple of winners including Vallegrande at Cranbourne on Friday night.

Alucinari ($5.50) edged Roeinda ($11) out of the Denise’s Joy (1100m) by a half head with Positive Charge ($26) another long head third.

“It feels so good,” McDonald said.

“It’s been frustrating and it’s good to get one on the board.

“She gave me a lovely ride and she had to be really good to win today.”

Trainer John O’Shea’s right-hand man, Darren Beadman, was equally thrilled by McDonald’s win.

“I don’t think he’s had a monkey on his back, I think it’s a gorilla,” he said.

“She is a bonny little filly. John has taken his time and tried to be kind to her so it’s great to get black type with her.

“She had been knocking on the door and it was a fabulous ride by James.”

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