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James McDonald will ride star New Zealand three-year-old Catalyst in his first Australian start

James McDonald will ride star New Zealand three-year-old Catalyst in his first Australian start, replacing the suspended Damian Lane.

Catalyst will have his first run in Melbourne in the Group Three C S Hayes at Caulfield on Saturday week.

The engagement of McDonald is a one-off with Lane committed to the gelding in both the Group One Australian Guineas (1600m) on February 29 and the $5 million All Star Mile (1600m) on March 14.

“Damian Lane was happy to wait to see whether we were going to bring Troy Harris over,” Rick Williams, general manager of owner/breeder Dick Karreman’s The Oaks Stud, said.

“He was waiting for our decision on that and said he will book for all three races should the horse make the All Star Mile.

“It will be a one-off ride for James McDonald and Damian Lane will ride the last two. James is in Sydney on Australian Guineas day and couldn’t commit to all three like Damian.

“It’s not bad when you can call on James McDonald as a replacement.

“Dick was very keen on him and had James said he could ride at all three starts, he would have been the rider from the beginning, because Dick has been friends with his grandfather for a long time.

“They’re both world class riders so I am not concerned about the jockey arrangements.”

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