Kiwi jockey to ride Melbourne Cup favourite Yucatan

The AM Show 05/11/2018

Tuesday is Melbourne Cup day and this year, a Kiwi jockey will ride favourite Yucatan.

James McDonald spoke to The AM Show on Monday about preparing for the race.

The jockey won the Herbert Power Stakes with Yucatan last month and says he's the best chance of winning the race.

He said training the horse to reach its peak in time for the Cup is hard to perfect, but the team working with Yucatan is experienced and "they know him back to front".

AM Show host Duncan Garner asked how much contact Mr McDonald gets with the horse before the race.

"We do one circle in the parade and then we canter down to the start, so I've got about seven minutes to get to know him again.

"I know his capabilities of what he can do in a race and what he can't do. There's not a lot of chinks to his armour, I feel."

Training is not just for the horses though, with jockeys also having to stick to harsh diets to stay on weight for the race.

"I've still gotta lose two kilos by tomorrow - I've got 54.5 [kilos] for the Cup and I'm roughly 56.5 [kilos]. It's not easy, but you do it.

"Yucatan is a pretty cool customer. He didn't really raise a hair in the Herbert Power, so hopefully he'll be acting the same."

Watch the full interview with James McDonald above.

The AM Show with Duncan Garner, Amanda Gillies and Mark Richardson, weekdays 6-9am on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.