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28 Oct

Vintage Jim Cassidy delivered the Sydney Cup, now for the All Aged

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He has been looking forward to the ride on Dissident in Saturday’s All Aged Stakes for the past month, and now Jim Cassidy will arrive on race day buoyed by his “special” Sydney Cup win on Grand Marshal.
Wuxi Plastic Surgery

Cassidy was in vintage form on and off the track on the final day of the Championships at headquarters. The 52-year-old lifted Grand Marshal to victory at the end of a testing 3200 metres, having stripped two kilograms to ride at 52kg with just four days notice.

“[Wife] Vicki helped a lot to do things right last week. I walk around at 54 or 54.5 and I had to get down,” Cassidy said. “I have learnt you don’t win too many group 1s sitting in the jockeys’ room.

“I didn’t even have a ride last week, so sitting at home makes you keen to prove a point. But you need to get to the races with your strength [when you waste], so you have to do it right. It was a tough week and riding two miles the first ride of the day isn’t easy but it was worth it.”

It took every bit of Cassidy’s strength to chase down Who Shot Thebarman on Grand Marshal, a champion he has partnered for five wins, all of them in photo finishes.

“He is that sort of horse he knows where the post is,” Cassidy said.

The joy for Cassidy of winning was more than matched by the response of his fellow jockeys. He is the old man of the room but there is not a more respected jockey in the country.

Riders lined up to hugged and shake his hand when he returned after the presentation.

“I have never begrudged anyone winning a group 1 and always try to make a point of congratulating the boys,” Cassidy said.

“But that made it more special, the boys coming up saying ‘good on you Pump’ and I’m not into twitter but I saw what Bossy and Blake Shinn did there. When I think of it I haven’t had that before.”

Cassidy never looks back, however, and knows Saturday will be another test of horse and rider. He won the first group 1 on Dissident in the Randwick Guineas last year and the Sebring entire has gone on to win another three at the top level, two at 1400m, the distance of the All Aged Stakes.

“He probably struggles to get a really strong mile but at seven [furlongs, 1400m] there aren’t that many that can much his strength and acceleration,” Cassidy said. “I rode him work on Friday and gee he felt great. He is fresh and ready to go but he will need to be if they all turn up.”

The All Aged Stakes was left out of The Championships concept but continues to hold its place as one of the best races in the country. The honour roll includes All Too Hard, Hay List and Atlantic Jewel in the past few years.

The star three-year-old Shooting To Win, Scissor Kick and Wandjina, which is the last-start Australian Guineas winner, have all targeted the group 1.

The older brigade, which includes T.J. Smith winner Chautauqua, William Reid Stakes victor Lucky Hussler, Terravista and Rebel Dane, will take the tally of group 1 winners in the All Aged towards double figures.

Cassidy believes all he needs is a dry track for Dissident to cause what many might consider a shock.

“He is a lovely colt to ride but I want the weather gods to be on our side because he is not as effective on wet tracks,” Cassidy said.

“He might not even start on soft or heavy track. I know what this bloke can do and it will take a good one to beat us on the right surface. I have been waiting for this one because I knew it was coming up and I want to make the most of it.”

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

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