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Sydney jockey James McDonald’s comeback will continue when he rides at the Royal Ascot meeting.

McDonald, who returned to riding earlier this month after serving an 18-month ban for a betting offence, has been booked by English trainer Charlie Hills for Equilateral in the Group One Commonwealth Cup.

Equilateral is an 8-1 chance in early markets and victory could put him in the frame for a slot in the $13 million Everest in Sydney in October.

McDonald said he received a call from Hills on Wednesday night and jumped at the opportunity to ride Equilateral on June 22.

“I got the phone call last night,” McDonald told Sky Sports Radio.

“I wasn’t going this year and had turned down a few rides.

“Last night when he called he said obviously I wouldn’t ring you if it had no chance.

“It’s an opportunity I can’t really turn down.

“He might be an Everest-bound horse after that if he was successful.”

The 26-year-old rode for Hills during his last visit to England two years ago and the trainer is keen to renew the association.

“James is going to come over for Royal Ascot and maybe for a couple of days before as well,” Hills told the Racing Post.

“Equilateral is one he can ride and I’ll see what else I can put him on, but if the word’s out other trainers might want to use him as well.

“I think he’s a world-class jockey who has a very cool head on him.

“We had a good bit of success together in the past – he won the Lennox Stakes on Dutch Connection in 2016 – and it’ll be good to link up again. I think he’s a great young talent.”

 
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