Hawkspur has claimed his first Group 1 win with a dominant display in the $500,000 Group 1 Channel Ten Queensland Derby (2400m) bringing up Jimmy Cassidy’s 98th career Group 1 winner at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Hawkspur and Jim Cassidy, picture Sportpix.com.au
Coming into the race on the back of two good wins in the Rough Habit and the Grand Prix, Cassidy rode the Chris Waller-trained runner a treat after missing the start, kicking clear at the 200m to run out a 2.8L winner over Electric Fusion in second and Honorius in third a half neck away.
The well fancied Survived made a move 1400m out from home three wide but was unable to sustain the run and the race was left to Hawkspur with Cassidy biding him time behind the leaders Usainity and Laser Flash.
Rounding the turn Cassidy weaved his way through the field and coming into the straight the race was all but over as Chris Waller looks to have unearthed another talented stayer.
“When you have riders like Jim Cassidy it actually relaxes you as a trainer and he is just a genius,” said Waller.
“If he was ever riding better I wish I was training then because he makes my job so much easier so full credit to him.
“Today he blew the start and made things difficult for himself and to get the horse to win the Rough Habbit and the Grand Prix his rides have been ten out of ten.
“We don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves with him because you get too disappointed in this game but he has won some good prizemoney but we have to remain realistic.
“The main thing is to enjoy horses like this and we will put him in races we think he can compete in, The Metropolitan and things like that.”
Cassidy said Hawkspur has jumped out of the ground since coming up to Queensland from Sydney.
“I thought if they couldn’t beat him at Doomben then they couldn’t beat him here at a mile-and-a-half and I know it’s the Winter Carnival but Chris (Waller) might have a pretty good stayer next time out,” said Cassidy.
“If he can go back and have a good break he has won the triple crown here and he can improve and good stayers are hard to find.
“He has all the attributes to improve even further and with Chris who knows how good he can get.”
Hawkspur is by Purrealist and is out of the Catbird mare Mollyhawk and is owned by D Puglisi, A Muollo, T Ristevski & E Spoljar. His record now stands at six wins and six seconds from 18 starts.