Evergreen jockey Jim Cassidy will renew his association with Hawkpsur when the pair line up in the Group 1 $2.65m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Cassidy has won four times on the Chris Waller trained four year old and gets an excellent chance to record his one hundredth Group 1 win if Hawkspur can salute in the richest 2400m Handicap in the world.
Cassidy had to relinquish the ride on the four year old in the Group 1 $500,000 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 5 when he elected to stay in Sydney to partner Zoustar in the their win in the Group 2 $175,000 Roman Consul Stakes (1200m) at Randwick.
Michael Walker deputised for Cassidy in the Turnbull and after settling near the tail of the field Hawkspur flew home along the inside to finish fifth to Happy Trails, beaten just over half a length.
Cassidy teamed up with Hawkpsur during the Brisbane Winter Carnival with three wins from three rides including the Group 1 $500,000 Channel Seven Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm in June.
The top jockey was again aboard when Hawkspur scored a three and a quarter lengths win in the Group 2 $175,000 Tattersall’s Club Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on September 7.
Hawkspur will be one of four runners that premier Sydney trainer Chris Waller will saddle up, the others are Royal Descent, Moriarty and Kelinni.
The Caulfield Cup market order has Hawkspur the ruling favourite at $4.50 with Royal Descent on the third line of betting at $8.50 while Moriarty is a $26 chance and Kelinni is one of the roughies of the field at $41.
Even though Waller has two of the top fancies, he says that he won’t be going into the race over confident.
“Being favourite with the bookmakers is nice but it doesn’t pay the bills,” Waller told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“They have to go out and do the job.
“I honestly can’t split the pair of them. It will come down to which one draws better or works better on Tuesday morning in my mind. They have both had good preparations and are ready for the race, which they have been aiming at.”
Waller is also not ruling out an upset from his longer priced pair, saying that Moriarty and Kelinni have earned their spot in the field.
“Kelinni and Moriarty have earned their places in the field, and deserve to be there. Moriarty is a Brisbane Cup winner at 2400 metres, and just wasn’t suited by the slow tempo in The Metropolitan last time but still was getting to the line to run fifth. Kelinni ran fourth in the Melbourne Cup last year, and gets to a trip he will appreciate.”