The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Ace Aussie jockey Jimmy Cassidy is bullish over his chances of securing a third Rosehill Guineas victory this Saturday at the Gardens when he jumps in the saddle of Jason Bridgman’s promising New Zealander Rock ‘n’ Pop.
Cassidy’s two previous Rosehill Guineas winners were Innocent King in 1993 and then Diatribe 12 years ago, and he thinks it is about time for another.
“I’ve won a couple of them (Rosehill Guineas), another wouldn’t hurt,” he said.
A bumper 18-starter plus two emergency field for the $500,000 Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) was announced yesterday, Rock ‘n’ Pop one of four Kiwi-trained raiders.
Early Rosehill Guineas betting favourite is one of the other New Zealanders in the Roger James-trained Silent Achiever.
Coming off four straight turf triumphs back home including the coveted Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m), as last year’s New Zealand-trained Rosehill Guineas winner Jimmy Choux did, Silent Achiever pays $4.20 in the bookmaker.com.au markets despite the daughter of O’Reilly drawing awkwardly wide with barrier 17.
Impeccably bred Rock ‘n’ Pop, a son of lucrative Aussie sire Fastnet Rock out of Sir Tristram mare Popsy, winner of the 1993 NZ Derby, meanwhile has drawn barrier 10.
They currently pay a juicy $15 in the Rosehill Guineas odds at bookmaker.com.au, not rated a chance of upsetting the favourite after they finished two and a half lengths away second to Silent Achiever in the New Zealand Derby last start on March 3.
Cassidy, however, is warning punters not to write off his mount.
“Never underestimate the power of the Pumper,” Cassidy said.
“The filly (Silent Achiever) is certainly good, she deserves to be favourite but she has drawn out in the carpark and has to travel across to Sydney.
“My bloke does too but he wasn’t far off her in the (NZ) Derby and I am happy to be on him.”
Speaking race tactics for Saturday Cassidy said from their gate he would be taking Rock ‘n’ Pop forward to try and beat the $5.50 second elect Laser Hawk, racing with blinker from barrier nine with Nash Rawiller aboard, into a favourable running position.
“I’ll be looking to press forward and get in to a nice spot,” he said.
“I’ve got Laser Hawk inside me and he will be positive form the barriers.”
The other Kiwis in this year’s Rosehill Guineas field are then $8 third favourite Ocean Park who debuted in Australia running eighth to Mosheen in the Randwick Guineas, and reigning Victoria Derby hero Sangster who at $21 looks good odds from barrier seven as they go up in distance for the first time this prep.
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