AIDAN RODLEY IN MELBOURNE
Jimmy Cassidy joined George Moore and Roy Higgins as the only three Australasian jockeys to win 100 Group I races yesterday – and he came straight out with his No 1 catchphrase.
“If anybody can, a Kiwi can,” Cassidy declared. It was followed soon afterwards by a variation on his No 2 catchphrase: “Ring-a-ding-ding, it’s time to sing.”
Cassidy, known as “The Pumper”, is well known for saying: “Ring-a-ding-ding, the Pumper’s the king”.
Cassidy reigned at Flemington yesterday, guiding the Chris Waller-trained Zoustar to success in the A$ 500,000 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m).
Cassidy, 50, grew up in the Hutt Valley and did his apprenticeship in New Zealand, gaining fame for his remarkable last-to-first win on Kiwi in the 1983 Melbourne Cup. It was fitting that his 100th Group I win came at the same venue as that triumph and that it came aboard a galloper trained by Waller, another ex-pat Kiwi who has been one of Cassidy’s biggest supporters.
The pair will team again on Tuesday when Cassidy rides Waller’s cup chance Hawkspur.
“To be in the same company as George Moore and Roy Higgins is quite humbling,” Cassidy said.
“They are great men, great jockeys. To all the trainers who have supported me over the last 30 years, I can’t thank them enough.
“I’ll treasure this for the rest of my life. It’s not easy to get to the top and stay there for 10 or 20 years. I’ve been there for 30 years now and that’s something I’m very proud of.”
Zoustar’s win was a massive result for connections, the Northern Meteor colt claiming a A$ 4 million bonus for his owners for winning the Coolmore after he was syndicated in a A$ 14 million deal with Widden Stud last week, with the proviso of the extra money should he win yesterday.
Hawkspur is no forlorn chance for Cassidy – his latest run in the Caulfield Cup was a superb effort when he struck early trouble and was forced to the rear of the field before storming home to be beaten only two and a half lengths.
– © Fairfax NZ News