Jockey Jim Cassidy has been suspended for five weeks and fined $200 for breaching whip rules on five separate occasions after piloting four winners at Rosehill yesterday.
In keeping with the highs and lows of a career which would surely make a great book, Cassidy was seen at his best and worst – concurrently.
Cassidy stated he suffered a “blackout” when defying the whip rules aboard Colorado Claire ($200 fine), Lightinthenite (2×2 weeks to be served concurrently) and Zara Dancer (2×3 weeks to be served concurrently).
All up, the 48-year-old won’t be able to ride until December 19 and is $200 lighter in the pocket.
Racing NSW chief steward Ray Murrihy was left scratching his head.
”I am at a lost to understand why the most senior rider would show such a blatant disregard for the whip rules,” Murrihy said.
”It is like you threw them (the rules) out the window.”
Cassidy whipped Colorado Claire on three consecutive strides before the 100 metres of the Bacardi Handicap (1400m).
He used whip on Lightinthenite on seven consecutive strides before the 100 metres and 12 times in a forehand manner before the 100 metres, seven more times than allowed.
Then he whipped Zara Dancer, 11 consecutive strides before the 100 metres and in a forehand manner 17 times before the 100 metres.
”I’m disappointed in myself, I had a blackout,” Cassidy said.
”You can see it there, there is no arguing about it.”
Perhaps Cassidy forgot the rules in front his mother Francie, who made a rare visit to the track.
“I love riding winners when Mum is here, it puts a smile on her face, she is my good luck charm,” he said.
“She had seven kids, three jockeys Larry, Ricky and myself and has had to put up with me for 48 years so I try and make her happy whenever I can.”
Cassidy was told by doctors early in the week that he should spend up to a month away from the track to let his rib cartilage repair.
His response was “No can do.”
But yesterday he was clearly struggling with injury.
“I feel stiff and pretty sore, I’ve been icing all week but I guaranteed my owners and trainers that I wouldn’t let them down and that I would be here,” he said.
“I don’t like letting people down but sometimes with injuries it happens.
“On the whole I am pretty much on the ball.”
Cassidy’s first winner was aboard Golden Slipper prospect Faustus in the first race.
Forty minutes later he produced an armchair ride on Colorado Claire.
He maintained his 100 per cent record when winning aboard Oakfield Beauty.
“That’s three from three, I’ve ridden six before in a day you know,” he quipped in hope.
He made it a four-timer on Lightinthenite in a thrilling finish over Circle Of Power and Riva De Lago.
“I was on empty with 10 strides to go but I just had to keep pumping,” he said.
“I’m not 21 anymore, you the older you get the harder it gets.
“I know it is going to be sore tonight and even worse [tomorrow].”
The doctors, courtesy of the stewards, will get their wish.