PJ McDonald reaches landmark 1,000th UK winner

News | 10th July 2020

The 38-year-old joins a stellar list of jockeys to have reached the landmark including three-time Champion Jockeys Frankie Dettori, Ryan Moore and Silvestre De Sousa.

PJ McDonald, secured his 1,000th UK career victory with Zabeel Champion at Newmarket Racecourse today.

Fair play, P J McDonald

1000 career winners for jockey P J McDonald! đź‘ŹThe lightly-raced Zabeel Champion (8-1) puts up a lovely effort here and rates a nice one for trainer Mark Johnston Newmarket Racecourses - The Home of Horseracing

Posted by Racing TV on Friday, July 10, 2020

On reaching the milestone, McDonald, said: “On a personal level it’s a great achievement and very much something I am proud to do have done. It is proof that you have to take the good times with the bad and continue working hard.”

The landmark win on Zabeel Champion marked his 13th success at the racecourse, with his highest performing tracks to date being Wolverhampton (72), Catterick (66), and Ayr (63). 

McDonald’s sole British Group 1 success with Laurens in the 2017 Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket. McDonald and Laurens, who was trained by Karl Burke in North Yorkshire, enjoyed a total of six victories together. 

Fillies' Mile

A photo finish was needed in 2017 to confirm Laurens as the bet365 Fillies' Miles winner. Just one week to go until this year's bet365 Fillies' Mile (12 October). You can see Laurens in action on Saturday at the Rowley Mile in The Kingdom of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes!

Posted by Newmarket Racecourses - The Home of Horseracing on Wednesday, October 3, 2018

PJ McDonald is based in Leyburn, North Yorkshire and his local racecourse York has proved a happy hunting ground.

Invincible Army won the 2019 Duke Of York Clipper Logistics Stakes and Clever Cookie winning the 2016 Yorkshire Cup. The latter a race that forms part of the QIPCO British Champions Series.

Discussing his career highlights, McDonald said: “Winning that Group 1 with Laurens obviously stands out. It was me proving to myself that I could win on the biggest stage.”

“The win with Clever Cookie at York was fantastic. The Yorkshire crowd really took to him and I will never forget the crowd cheering his name. Yorkshire has been my home since 2005, so that was a really special day.

Clever Cookie and PJ McDonald and trainer Peter Niven
Clever Cookie, PJ McDonald and trainer Peter Niven after winning The Betway Yorkshire Cup

PJ McDonald began his career as a jump jockey with 37 of the 1,000 wins coming over jumps, most notably victory in the 2007 Scottish Grand National with Hot Weld.