Kiwi ace James McDonald will be the No 1 jockey for Godolphin in Australia.

Godolphin racing manager Jason Walsh today confirmed that McDonald would have first call on all John O’Shea-trained horses in a relationship similar to that which Kerrin McEvoy enjoyed when he was with global giant.

Walsh said the arrangement was finalised after a meeting between O’Shea and McDonald late last week.

“James has made a decision to ride full-time for us,” Walsh said.

“It was his decision and we are delighted to have him part of the team. We haven’t pressured James in any way shape or form.

“He is very keen to make that association going forward. He is an elite rider who has been able to pick and choose and he has made the decision to ride for us on a full-time basis and have first call on our horses.

“It is very exciting. John has enjoyed a very close relationship with him in the past and he’s excited about continuing that in the future.”

Walsh said if Godolphin had runners in features in multiple States then O’Shea would make a decision where he felt McDonald would best suit the stable.

McDonald rode extensively for O’Shea before he moved to Godolphin and that relationship continued to evolve.

With McDonald making the decision to join Godolphin full time it means that he won’t ride for Team Hawkes, which has provided him this season with his most winners.