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Cassidy's pumped up for winning return
GRAND Slam-winning jockey Jim
Cassidy has made a habit of riding
winners immediately after lay-offs
and if planning has anything to do
with it, he will make another win-
ning start at Randwick on Saturday.
Cassidy has missed the past two
months after he tested positive to
marijuana in October last year. His
original ban of three months was
reduced after he underwent coun-
selling and drug rehabilitation.
''It was just something pretty silly
I did and I have learned a lot from
working with the counsellor,'' Cas-
sidy said. ''It [marijuana] gave a fair
bit of pain relief but it is something I
shouldn't have done. I'm not in the
business of looking back, so look
forward to riding winners.
''I'm a winner for just getting back
but hopefully I can start well and get a
winner in the first couple of meetings
back. It is important to get up and
running quickly and that's why I have
been working so hard to get back.''
Cassidy has spent the time on his
farm with his family and as usual
will be back at the peak of fitness
after a tough training regime.
Cassidy's first ride back is Dandee
Topwin for Graeme Rogerson and he
also picked up a trio of rides for
trainer Joe Pride: Hadaaf, Brom
Brom and Khemosabi.
Cassidy, who turns 48 later in the
month, has not lost his zest for rid-
ing and has worked hard with his
small team, including his wife
Vicki and daughter Piper, to be
ready for Saturday.
''It's not a one-man band at all,''
he said. ''There are a lot of people
who have worked with me to get me
back and ready to go and I don't
want to let them down. I still have a
passion for riding and believe I have
as much ability as anyone around.''
Cassidy has had several lay-offs
through falls and suspension during
his career but they might also have
helped to prolong his career.
''I'm fresh and the time off really
helped getting my body right,'' he
said. ''I also got to spend time with
Vicki and Piper, which is some-
thing you don't get to do a lot [when
''It makes you that bit keener
when you come back and while I'm
like that I want to keep riding.''
Brom Brom and Khemosabi
provide Cassidy with the best chance
of a perfect return.
Brom Brom gets to 1800 metres
where he is better suited, while Khe-
mosabi was a first-up winner last
preparation and is among the
favourites in the last.
''It is just good to have four rides
to get started and there will be no
one out there trying harder than
me,'' Cassidy said.
The champion hoop has a couple
of cracking rides during the
autumn in Melbourne Cup runner-
up Maluckyday and up-and-
coming sprinter Whitefriars, which
starts its campaign in the Canter-
bury Classic next Friday.
He has also been approached by
Patinack Farm and Anthony Cum-
mings to ride work for them.
''I have a lot of people who are
going to support me and I'm keen to
get back to it,'' Cassidy said. ''[Own-
er] Nick [Moraitis] has always been a
great supporter and I can't wait to
get back on Maluckyday.
''I have been asked to ride work for
John Thompson and Anthony Cum-
mings, which can only help me.''
Ryan tries change of tack in bid for Adnocon to rediscover old magic
Gear change . . . Rosehill trainer Gerald Ryan. Photo: Kate Geraghty
G erald Ryan has decided to
take the blinkers off
Adnocon at Randwick on
Saturday as he prepares
him for a shot at next week's Magic
Millions Stayers Cup.
Adnocon pulled hard in the Vil-
liers Stakes before Christmas with
the blinkers on, and Ryan wants to
get him back to relaxing in his races.
''He gave himself no chance in the
Villiers,'' he said. ''He has been quite
good this preparation up until he
was very fresh, and I was happy with
his second-up run.
''I have always been looking at
Magic Millions day with him but
there is no use going for the
1400-metre race after watching
what Captain Sonador did the other
day [in the Goldmarket].
''He needs this run on Saturday if
he is going into the 1800m race, and
by taking the blinkers off I'm hoping
he won't get too fired up.''
Ryan will also start stayer Iron-
stein in the 1400m race at Randwick,
and hopes he will show the fresh-
ness he had when third to stable-
mate Top Drop first-up.
''He went terrific resuming, and if
he can race like that again he would
be right in this [race],'' Ryan said.
Trainer Gary Portelli had been hav-
ing a lean trot in Sydney until
Somepin Anypin broke the drought
at Canterbury last month.
The three-year-old gelding was
impressive winning by three lengths
resuming on December 29, encour-
aging Portelli to have a crack at the
JB Maher Memorial Handicap at
Randwick on Saturday.
''It is a big step up from a midweek
maiden, and we are running into a
couple of nice horses, in particular
the one of Joe Pride [Flying Emp-
ress],'' Portelli said.
''He is a nice type, and I hope he is
up to Saturday class, and hopefully
he can produce the sprint he did at
Canterbury because that would
make him hard to beat.''
In-demand apprentice Josh
Adams will again ride Somepin Any-
pin at Randwick.
MUM'S THE WORD
The Marc Conners-trained Queen
Esprit will race in foal resuming in
Saturday's Autumn Carnival On Sale
Now Handicap at Randwick.
The five-year-old daughter of Bel
Esprit was served in October last
year, and Conners notified that she
has been confirmed as in foal.
Boom apprentice Tim Bell will miss
the rest of the month after his
appeal against a careless riding
suspension from Wyong was dis-
Bell has to serve a suspension
from Canterbury last month, which
will end on January 16, before start-
ing the Wyong ban. The appeals
panel dismissed Bell's appeal
against his careless riding charge
but varied the penalty from nine
meetings to eight, which will mean
the apprentice is able to ride again
on February 4.
Racing Queensland has announced
a $1.55 million relief package to
trainers, jockey and stable staff
affected by the floods.
The packages includes one-off
grants to Rockhampton industry
stakeholders, who have been hard-
hit with the Callaghan Park track
expected to be underwater for the
next two weeks.
''The racing industry in Rock-
hampton is facing one of its darkest
hours . . . placing significant uncer-
tainty around the short-term future
of racing in central Queensland,"
Racing Queensland chairman Bob
''Today's announcement is
aimed at providing access to critic-
al funds for those licensee groups
unable to to ply their trade due to
the closure of Callaghan Park for
training and racing.
''It could be many months before
the massive clean-up is finalised
and things return to normal for
Rockhampton's racing community."
Several other regional centres
have been affected by the floods,
with tracks at Warwick, Bundaberg
and Capalaba also underwater.
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