George Main Stakes could give Cassidy his 100th Group 1 winner

Evergreen jockey Jim Cassidy might not have to wait long to ride his one hundredth Group 1 winner if Chris Waller decides to run last start winner Hawkspur in the Group 1 $350,000 George Main Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on Saturday.


Jim Cassidy and Hawkspur combine to win the 2013 Queensland Derby at Eagle Farm. Photo by Daniel Costello.

Waller has nominated six horses for the weight for age George Main and will confirm his runners later in the week with Hawkspur also entered for the Group 2 $200,000 Hill Stakes (2000m) at Randwick.

“I will have three definite runners – Shoot Out, Sacred Falls and Royal Descent and maybe Hawkspur as well,” Waller told AAP.

“We need to decide whether the Hill Stakes is the better distance.”

Waller has also nominated Beaten Up and Moriarty in both races.

Cassidy collected his ninety-ninth Group 1 win on the Waller trained Zoustar in the Group 1 $1m De Bortoli Wines Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill last Saturday and is set to join the legendary George Moore (119 G1 wins) and the great Roy Higgins (106 G1 wins) as the only Australian jockeys to have reached the century.

“It will be a dream to get the 100,” Cassidy said.

“Hopefully it’s Hawkspur in the George Main. If not, it won’t be long until I get there.”

Cassidy rode Hawkspur to victory in the Group 1 $500,000 Channel Seven Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm on June 8 and then the pair combined again to win Group 2 $175,000 Tattersall’s Club Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on September 7 by a comfortable three and a quarter lengths.

With only fifteen horses nominated for the George Main Stakes, The Australian Turf Club has extended nominations until eleven AM on Tuesday, September 17.

All other races, except the Group 3 $125,000 Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m), have also been extended.

Tommy Berry is excited about the prospect of reuniting with Sacred Falls in the George Main Stakes after they combined to win the Group 1 $2m BMW Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick during the Sydney Autumn Carnival.

“I’ve been looking forward to getting the opportunity to ride him this preparation and it’s great that it will come in a Group 1,” Berry told Racing Network.

“I rode him in his trials prior to his first-up run and he feels like he’s come back a much stronger horse.

“I wasn’t surprised to see how well he went first up in the Tramway and I expect he’ll take improvement stepping up to the mile.”

Other notable Geroge Main Stakes nominations are multiple New Zealand Group 1 winners King Mufhasa and Veyron, Guy Walter’s high quality mare Streama and Peter Moody’s trio of High Esteem, Dissident and Sneak A Peak.

Dissident could be a surprise runner as Moody is considering backing up the three year old after he ran a mighty race to finish second to Zoustar in the Golden Rose before returning to Melbourne for the Group 1 $1m BECK Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on October 12.

“I’m keeping everything open at the moment as to where I might head and what I might do,” Moody told Racing Network

“I’m just keeping an open mind.”

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.

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