John O’Shea, Darley’s new Australian head-trainer in waiting, has given an unconditional guarantee that Kerrin McEvoy will always be number-one stable rider. He has also confirmed that he intends to use exciting young rider James McDonald regularly.

“There are 400 horses there and Kerrin can’t ride them all,” O’Shea told Racing Network today.

Still on the Gold Coast where he has been for Magic Millions week, O’Shea said McEvoy would always be number one rider for the Darley operation.

“Darley has said Kerrin is the number one rider, but past that they have left it up to me and I will be using James McDonald a lot. I’m sure he will be a wonderful acquisition to the Darley team,” O’Shea said of McDonald, a young rider he has been singing the praises of for more than a year now.

“No-one is riding better than Kerrin McEvoy at the moment – he’s at the peak of his powers.

"He’s a senior, established rider in great form,” he added.

O’Shea said he had a chat with John Hawkes while on the Gold Coast, the Darley head-trainer before Peter Snowden, who explained he had used Darren Beadman and Corey Brown as well and that had worked out well.

“I’m sure James McDonald will do a wonderful job for Sheikh Mohammed in whatever role we find for him,” he said.