Veteran hoop Jim Cassidy has been booked to ride Pornichet in the 2015 Mackinnon Stakes at Flemington on Saturday.
Blake Shinn took out the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) on Pornichet during the 2015 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival and he partnered the imported galloper in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on August 22, Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) at the same venue on September 5 and Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) on September 19 before Kerrin McEvoy took the mount when he failed to fire in the Group 1 Ladbrokes Caulfield Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on October 10.
McEvoy partnered Pornichet again when he finished a credible fourth in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 24, but trainer Gai Waterhouse elected to offer Cassidy the ride for the Mackinnon Stakes.
Waterhouse did not believe that Pornichet had a great deal of luck in the Cox Plate, but she was pleased with the performance of the Vespone entire and she is confident that the Doomben Cup winner can return to winning form in the 2015 Mackinnon Stakes.
“I was thrilled with the performance of Pornichet in the great race on Saturday and I am hungry than ever to win the ‘best two minutes in sport’,” Waterhouse said.
“Pornichet did not enjoy the best of luck, but he still managed to finish a brave 4th.
“There are several clear options on the table and when my mind is made up I will speak up; of the course the 2000m Mackinnon looks a very winnable race.
“The 2015 Cox Plate was one of the strongest WFA races contested in Australia for a long time and my boy did everyone proud and he will be much better for the experience.”
Cassidy is chasing his first win in the Mackinnon Stakes since he took out the 1993 edition of the race with The Phantom and he previously finished in the placings with Oliver Twist in 1999, Filante in 1997.
Waterhouse has an outstanding record in the Mackinnon Stakes and she has the chance to record her fifth victory in the Group 1 event after previously taking out the race with All Our Mob in 1996, Grand Armee in 2004, Desert War in 2006 and Theseo in 2008.
Pornichet is currently available at 2015 Mackinnon Stakes odds of $10 and he is on the fifth line of betting behind Fawkner ($6.50), Magic Hurricane ($6.50), Stratum Star ($9) and Magic Artist ($9).
You can score the best Mackinnon Stakes odds with Ladbrokes, who will offer Best Tote or Starting Price +20% for every single race at Flemington on Saturday.