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James McDonald is free to ride in Group One races in Sydney and Melbourne over the next two weeks after having his suspension for weighing in light after a race at Canterbury reduced on appeal.

McDonald appealed the severity of the two week ban handed down after he weighed in 800 grams underweight after riding Charge Account into third place in a race at Canterbury on September 5.

The jockey’s ban was reduced to three meetings at Friday’s appeal and he was issued a $2000 fine.

His suspension starts after Sunday’s Randwick meeting and he can return to the saddle on Saturday week.

Had McDonald been unsuccessful in having his suspension reduced, the star New Zealand jockey would have missed two major meetings in Sydney including Epsom Handicap day at Randwick as well as the Sir Rupert Clarke meeting at Caulfield on Sunday week where he will ride Solzhenitsyn.

McDonald has a strong book of feature race rides at Randwick on Saturday including favourite Dear Demi in the Group Two Tea Rose Stakes and the unbeaten It’s A Dundeel in the Group Three Gloaming Stakes (1800m).

All going well, Dear Demi heads to the Group One Flight Stakes on October 6 and It’s A Dundeel contests the Spring Champion Stakes on the same day.

 
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