By David Di Somma (Newshub)

James McDonald

James McDonald leads the Sydney Jockey Premiership (Photo Credit: Races AU)

The long wait is just about over for banned Kiwi jockey James McDonald.

The 26-year-old returns to riding in Sydney on Wednesday after an 18-month suspension for something he says was “unexplainably stupid”.

The question is why?

Why would James McDonald – a million dollar a year earning jockey –  jeopardise everything by illegally betting on a horse he was riding in Sydney?

“I can’t really answer that,” McDonald told Newshub. “It’s something I’ll regret for the rest of my life.”

He netted $4000 for his $1000 outlay after  “Astern” won at Randwick, but the authorities were swiftly onto him, resulting in his lengthy ban.

He appealed the severity of the sentence – but to no avail.

“I did the crime I’ll do the time.”

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