The former jump jockey won the Scottish Grand National on Hot Weld in 2007 before turning his attention to the Flat shortly afterwards.
Since then he has taken his career tally of winners beyond 1000 – reaching four figures in 2020 after achieving a best of 132 the previous year.
He enjoyed QIPCO Champions Series glory for the first time aboard Clever Cookie in the 2016 Betway Yorkshire Cup.
He was making the most of a good opportunity as Daniel Tudhope was booked to ride, only to be injured in a fall 24 hours before.
In 2017, he returned to York for more Series joy – landing the Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup by a nose on the Andrew Balding-trained Montaly.
McDonald was also the regular rider of prolific filly Laurens.
The pair never combined for a Series win but there were several near-misses, including second places in the 2018 QIPCO 1000 Guineas and the 2019 Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes.
The 39-year-old, born in County Wexford, rides mostly for Karl Burke. In the summer of 2018 he was appointed Flat President of the PJA, replacing Steve Drowne.