Veteran Jockey Jim Cassidy believes that Hawkspur is good enough to win the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) from barrier 16 on Saturday.
Hawkspur has been the clear favourite in 2013 Caulfield Cup betting markets for over a month but drifted slightly in markets after he drew an outside gate at the barrier draw held this morning.
Cassidy is chasing his 100th Group 1 victory this weekend and told TVN that he remains confident Hawkspur will be the horse to deliver him this memorable milestone and said he isn’t worried about the wide gate.
“It is just a number,” Cassidy said.
“I’ve got no worries, I’ve got confidence in the horse and he is good enough to win from there.”
Hawkspur has shown plenty of versatility throughout his racing career and Cassidy said, at this stage, he plans to let the Purrealist gelding settle at the back of the field in the Caulfield Cup on Saturday, even though the four-year-old recorded his only previous Group 1 win with a tough on-pace effort in the Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) during the Brisbane Winter Carnival earlier this year.
“He drew barriers one, two and three in those runs in Brisbane last preparation so it was go forward and hold your spot,” Cassidy said.
“By the time I assess it you probably pretty much committed to going back and be quiet
“It is won the second time around not the first time around.”
The poor barrier draw isn’t the only thing going against the Caulfield Cup favourite; with history not on his side heading into the $2.5 million event this weekend.
Queensland Derby winners have a shocking record in the Caulfield Cup and equine superstar Tulloch (1957) remains the only horse to win the two races in the same year.
Working in Tulloch’s favor was the fact that the Queensland Derby used to be run just two weeks after the Caulfield Cup and since the Queensland Classic was moved to the winter no winner has been successful in the Caulfield Cup.
Hawkspur will also need to overcome the poor recent record of Caulfield Cup favourites as Littorio (2008), Predatory Pricer (2009), Shocking (2010), December Draw (2011) and Glencadam Gold (2012) have all been beaten as favourites in the last five years.