Big race jockey Jim Cassidy is counting down the days to the Queensland Derby after Sydney three year old Hawkspur ploughed through the gloom to take out the Group 3 $125,000 Mittys Rough Habit Plate (2100m) at Eagle Farm.
The Chris Waller trained gelding made strong claims for the Group 1 $500,000 Channel Seven Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm in a month and really appreciated the wet conditions to score a clear cut win over the New Zealand pair of Survived and Usainity.
Cassidy had no trouble positioning Hawkspur where he wanted him in the first four runners and the three year old showed plenty of acceleration to set up a winning break at the 350m.
The two favourites Survived and Usanity both made up plenty of ground in the straight but were never a chance of overhauling the winner.
Waller has been planning a Brisbane Winter Carnival campaign for Hawkspur from the start of this preparation and now he has elevated himself as one of the main chances in the three year old classic.
Cassidy was all smiles coming back to scale after another first class ride in tough conditions.
“I travelled sweet and used me alley, never really got off the bridle,” Cassidy said.
“Tracked into it nicely at the 600, got off the fence at the top of the straight and he dashed good.”
“He’s been on the improve. His run in the Frank Packer wasn’t that bad. He’s got the Chris Waller touch, that helps him.”
Both second and third placegetters Survived and Usainty will both continue on a Queensland Derby path.