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Image: Steve Hart
James McDonald has starred on Coolmore Classic day at Rosehill

James McDonald has starred on a soggy Coolmore Classic day at Rosehill booting home five winners, four of them at stakes level.

However, it was a ride he did not win on that he came to the races most confident about.

McDonald had been upbeat about the prospects of Coolmore Classic favourite Pohutukawa but the Godolphin mare struggled in the heavy conditions, finishing unplaced.

“It’s good but I thought my best ride was Pohutukawa but the track was too wet for her and it backfired,” McDonald said.

McDonald opened his account aboard Godolphin filly Thermosphere in Saturday’s Magic Night Stakes (1200m) before combining with Chris Waller for a Group race treble.

The jockey and trainer strung together successive wins with Star Of The Seas in the Maurice McCarten Stakes (1100m), Funstar in the Phar Lap Stakes (1500m) and Imaging in the Ajax Stakes.

McDonald rounded out his haul aboard the Bjorn Baker-trained Positive Peace in the final event.

It is not the first time the jockey has ridden a quintet of winners in Sydney, achieving the feat on Epsom Handicap day last year.

“I’ve ridden six in New Zealand, that is my best,” McDonald said.

“But I’ve done five a few times in Sydney.”

McDonald and Waller will be looking to combine for a $3.5 million pay day next Saturday with Hungry Heart in the Golden Slipper.

Rachel King fell foul of stewards for shifting ground on Invincible Gem in the Coolmore Classic and was suspended for five meetings.

She will ride at Rosehill next Saturday but will sidelined for the Tancred Stakes program and return in time for the Doncaster Mile meeting at Randwick on April 4.

 
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