Cassidy back in Melbourne Cup frame

WITH two Melbourne Cups already to his credit, and largely overlooked this spring, Jim Cassidy was back in the spotlight yesterday after champion trainer Bart Cummings booked the veteran to ride German stayer Illo in the Cup on Tuesday.

Cummings turned to Cassidy as the number of leading jockeys with Cup experience available was at a premium. "It's ma lucky day," the grand slam-winning jockey said in reference to last year's Cup runner-up Maluckyday, who was supposed to be his mount again, but went amiss several weeks ago.

"The last one [mount] I picked up late for Bart was the AJC Australian Derby winner Roman Emperor."

Illo made his debut for Cummings when third behind last year's Melbourne Cup winner Americain in the Moonee Valley Cup last Saturday, and meets the French stayer on significantly better weight terms on Tuesday. "He is in the best hands you want to be riding for and I thought his run was good the other day," Cassidy said. Cassidy won the Melbourne Cup on Kiwi (1983) and Might And Power (1997), while 12-time Cup winner Cummings has booked another two-time Cup winner, the Hong Kong-based Darren Beadman, for his other runner Precedence.

The other German stayer, Lucas Cranach, had a significant change of gear for his trackwork yesterday at Mornington.


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