Cassidy to assess tactics in search of first George Main Stakes win

By: Mark Mazzaglia
September 20th, 2014

Evergreen jockey Jim Cassidy will assess his riding tactics on Hawkspur in the Group 1 $350,000 George Main Stakes (1600m) after he has assesses the Randwick track prior to the running of the weight for age feature.

Hawkspur, white and purple, hangs on to beat Royal Descent in the Chelmsford Stakes.

Hawkspur, white and purple, hangs on to beat Royal Descent in the Chelmsford Stakes. Photo by Steve Hart.

Cassidy is searching to win his first George Main Stakes and will gauge the track from his three early rides before deciding if he will repeat his front riding tactics that saw him hang on the beat stablemate Royal Descent in the Group 2 $175,000 Tattersalls Club Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on September 6.

Or revert back to settling the Queensland Derby winner further back in the field as has been his recent style of racing.

“I will assess how the track is racing on the day, keep an open mind about tactics,’’ Cassidy told The Daily Telegraph.

“But I can tell you Hawkspur is not one-dimensional, he can be ridden forward or quiet.

“There was no fluke about his win last start and I’m very happy to be on him again.’’

Cassidy has been the regular jockey for Hawkspur when available since the pair combined for a clean sweep of the three year old races during the 2013 Brisbane Winter Carnival which culminated with a win in the Group 1 $500,000 Channel Seven Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm.

The wily Cassidy approached Racing New South Wales stewards and trainer Chris Waller only minutes before mounting Hawkspur for the Chelmsford Stakes to inform them that he could take the Purrealist five year old to the front if the circumstances prevailed.

“Jim Cassidy said to me prior to the race, fifteen minutes out, twenty minutes out, don’t be surprised if I go to plan B and I might ride him a bit more positively,” Waller said.

“He said that I’ve got the fittest horses in the race two runs back from a spell, so I may as well use that. That’s what makes Jim Cassidy so good.”

Cassidy subsequently took up the running on Hawkspur and had enough in reserve to hold off Royal Descent by the narrowest of margins.

The lightly weighted Panzer Division is likely to set the pace and take advantage of the huge weight advantage the three year old has over his older rivals.

Panzer Division, weighted on 50.5kgs,  is only having his fourth race start but trainer Paul Messara thought the time was right to step the Redoute’s Choice colt up to weight for age company after a dominant win against his own age in the Group 3 $125,000 Ming Dynasty Quality Handicap (1400m) at Randwick on September 6.

Panzer Division is hanging onto favouritism for the George Main Stakes with Ladbrokes.com.au at $5 just ahead of Lucia Valentina and Royal Descent at $5.50 and Toydini at $7.50.

Sacred Falls is on the next line of betting at $6 with Hawkspur marked as an $8 chance.

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