Hall of Fame jockey Jim Cassidy has declared the Chris Waller-trained Hawkspur a possible Caulfield and Melbourne Cups horse of the future after their all-too-easy win in the Queensland Derby 2013 at Stradbroke Handicap Day today.
It was Cassidy’s 98th Group 1 victory and his third success in the $500,000 Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m), the veteran hoop declaring his bold victory with flying Purrealist gelding Hawkspur his best yet.
“That was my third one and this had been me best ride,” an elated Cassidy said post-win.
In a beautiful training performance by Sydney’s leading trainer, Waller prepared Hawkspur to complete the same 3YO Winter Triple Crown that the Peter Moody-trained Brambles won 12 months ago as the Queensland Derby winner came off back-to-back victories in the Group 3 Rough Habit Plate (2100m) and the Group 3 Grand Prix Stakes (2200m).
Not the easiest horse to ride to victory, Hawkspur played up a little in the barriers today and missed the jump finding himself back a bit early while the roughies Kentaur, Laser Flash and Arousing Suspicion set a genuine pace in the Derby.
Never one to panic, the well-experienced Cassidy got Hawkspur positioned in sixth while race favourite Survived was always in trouble getting stuck three deep down the back of the pack half way through the race.
Tracking beautifully just off the speed Hawkspur and Cassidy bided their time while in a surprise move by Survived’s jockey Jonathan Riddell they made their move far too early attempting to go forward early when seventh or eighth deep.
On the home bend Usainity went up to hit the lead while Hawkspur had a another glorious Brisbane run up between horses on the straight overtaking the leader with 300m left to travel.
After going to the front there was no stopping the Queensland Derby winner who dashed away to put three lengths on the Robert Smerdon-trained Electric Fusion while Honorius did a nice job to hold on for third.
Cassidy is now predicting a huge future for the up-and-coming stayer saying that with a wonderful attitude to racing like Hawkspur has displayed so far and a master like Waller behind them there was no telling how far they could go.
“I said to the owners he’d win it on his ear and he’s won easy today,” Cassidy said.
“A great training performance from Chris Waller.
“Since he’s come up here he’s jumped out of the ground.
“I thought they couldn’t beat him here at the mile and a half.
“With Waller it could be anything, we could be winning the Caulfield or Melbourne Cup next!
“If they can stay it’s a big advantage.
“Good stayers are hard to find an he’s (Waller has) found himself another one.
“That’s half the trouble…if they’ve got the right attitude that’s what makes them better than the rest.
“He’s got all the attributes to improve a bit further.”
Waller was quick to return the praise to Cassidy too saying it was jockeys like him that won the big races for a reason.
“When you’ve got riders like Jim Cassidy it actually relaxes you as the trainer,” he said. “He’s just a genius.
“He makes my job so much easier, full credit to him, not only today but getting the horse to win the Rough Habit and the Grand Prix.
“It’s just a privilege to have jockeys like him.”
As for the predictions of a future Melbourne Cup campaign Waller said they would take things one step at a time and just continue to enjoy the ride Hawkspur had them on.
“We never like to get too far ahead of ourselves,” Waller said.
“Obviously he’s won some good prize money and got a Group 1 next to his name.
“The important thing is to enjoy horses like this and put him in races he can be competitive in.
“Maybe a Metropolitan or something like that.”
The $400,000 Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) runs at Royal Randwick in early October during the Sydney Spring Racing Carnival on Epsom Handicap Day
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2013 Queensland Derby Results & Finishing Order
Eagle Farm Race 7 – 08/06/2013
|1||1||HAWKSPUR||Chris Waller||Jim Cassidy||–||3||57kg||$4EF|
|2||5||ELECTRIC FUSION||Robert Smerdon||Dwayne Dunn||2.8L||18||57kg||$17|
|3||2||HONORIUS||David Payne||Michael Rodd||3L||2||57kg||$7.50|
|4||9||RHYTHM TO SPARE (NZ)||Michael Moroney||Glen Boss||3.8L||16||57kg||$9|
|5||18||GONDOKORO (NZ)||Pat Carey||Rhys McLeod||4.6L||11||55kg||$4.40|
|6||3||USAINITY (NZ)||Murray Baker||Hugh Bowman||9.6L||15||57kg||$19|
|7||15||CELTIC PRINCE (NZ)||Bjorn Baker||Nash Rawiller||11.1L||8||57kg||$26|
|8||4||SURVIVED (NZ)||John Bary||Jonathan Riddell||11.9L||14||57kg||$4EF|
|9||6||LASER FLASH||David Payne||Christian Reith||13.2L||6||57kg||$21|
|10||12||LUCKY LUCKY LUCKY||Steve Englebrecht||Grant Cooksley||14.2L||13||57kg||$51|
|11||7||AROUSING SUSPICION||Paul Rocke||Billy Egan||14.4L||5||57kg||$31|
|12||14||ALI VITAL (NZ)||Michael Moroney||Darren Gauci||18.4L||7||57kg||$26|
|13||10||FAUST (NZ)||Danny Williams||Peter Robl||18.7L||4||57kg||$41|
|14||8||TRAKSTAR||Tony Gollan||Larry Cassidy||20.5L||1||57kg||$101|
|15||16||HEATER||John P Thompson||Michael Cahill||20.7L||17||57kg||$501|
|16||13||SIR DENZEL (NZ)||John O’Shea||Craig Newitt||27.7L||10||57kg||$51|
|17||17||ZAGAMI||Jeffrey Caught||Kerrin McEvoy||27.8L||9||57kg||$401|
|18||11||KENTAUR||Shaun McCarthy||Timothy Bell||35.3L||12||57kg||$201|
|–||22e||TONOPAH (USA)||Craig Ritchie||Brad Rawiller||–||0||–||–|
|–||21e||PARAGGI (NZ)||Shaun Dwyer||Jim Byrne||–||0||–||–|
|–||19e||SAVE THE STAR||Ben Ahrens||Brad Stewart||–||0||–||–|
|–||20e||AMBITIOUS CHAMPION (NZ)||Murray Baker||–||0||–||–|