Veteran jockey Jim Cassidy has the opportunity to win his 100th Group 1 race when he partners Hawkspur in the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Cassidy’s impressive victory on Zoustar in the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens last weekend leaves him just one win away from achieving the amazing milestone and joining Roy Higgins and George Moore as the only jockeys in the history of Australian racing to record 100 Group 1 winners.
Hawkspur was included in the acceptances for both the George Main Stakes and the Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m) but trainer Chris Waller made the decision to contest the more prestigious race and is confident that the four-year-old is a strong winning chance.
“I think he’s fit and I wanted to keep some speed in him,” Waller told News Limited.
“He’s already won over 2200m and 2400m, so when I step him up I know there will be no problems and he is ahead of where I need him to be fitness-wise in terms of the Caulfield Cup.
“He was so convincing over the mile last start, so why not give him another chance.
“If Hawkspur runs up to his form the other day he’s the one they have to beat.”
Jim Cassidy stamped himself as a jockey to watch with his brilliant ride on Kiwi in the 1983 Melbourne Cup (3200m), bringing the horse from the tail of the field to win the ‘race that stops a nation’ in incredibly exciting fashion, and he believes that Hawkspur is good enough to give him his third Melbourne Cup win during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival.
”I opened my mouth to the owner and told them what I thought,” Cassidy told the media after Hawkspur’s win in the Chelmsford Stakes.
”I said to Chris Waller that he was my next Melbourne Cup horse.
“He could be my next Kiwi – he is the same colour.
“They said Brisbane form is not that good but he is the real deal.”
Cassidy has won Group 1 races all around Australia and New Zealand but is still chasing his first ever victory in the George Main Stakes.