Stand aside Dettori - lesser-known name takes Goodwood jockey title

PJ McDonald receives his top jockey prize at Goodwood
PJ McDonald receives his top jockey prize at Goodwood

PJ McDonald landed his first Racing TV Leading Jockey Award at Glorious Goodwood with four winners over the week, including Duke Of Hazzard in Friday's G3 Bonhams Thoroughbred Stakes.

McDonald, who is based at Leyburn in North Yorkshire, drew a blank on day five, and so had to sit and suffer while James Doyle and Jim Crowley closed on him with three wins apiece. Frankie Dettori, out of luck on the final day, also rode three winners at the 2019 Qatar Goodwood Festival.

He was delighted to hang on and land the prestigious prize, which comes with a year's subscription to Racing TV, a £1,000 donation to the charity of his choice (Jack Berry House), and a de luxe Goodwood hamper.

McDonald, who had his wife and two young daughters with him all week, said: "It's been a good week, and things have fallen right for me. A lot of the credit for that has to go to my agent Gareth Owen, who has got me some good rides. I had a bit of luck on the way, and I held on by the skin of my teeth.

"I don't have the firepower a lot of these lads have, so it's an achievement to come down here and win a prize like this. I've been here every day, but this is the first day the family have been with me. It's nice to have them here and to win this is a nice little feather in my cap."

McDonald, who is likely to be forever associated with the top-class filly Laurens, added: "I was a bit frustrated today after the maiden (strong-finishing second on Celtic Art), because if they had got going earlier I might have got there.

"I was looking forward to Duke Of Hazzard all week, and he was the main reason I was going to be here, so to get him over the line was nice. They were all very enjoyable winners.

"It is a five-hour drive home with the family tonight, then I am going to France tomorrow, to Deauville. It is great when things are going well and you hope to keep things rolling. Please be to God we can have a good end to the season."