Cassidy on brink of Group One milestone
Mandy Cottell
19:27 AEST Thu Sep 19 2013

He has won 99 Group One races but when it comes to the George Main Stakes, jockey Jim Cassidy is still a maiden.

Cassidy will have a chance to change that status aboard Hawkspur at Randwick on Saturday.

But the thrill of adding the George Main Stakes (1600m) to his list of races won pales in comparison to the real achievement in the offing for Cassidy at Randwick.

He is on the precipice of joining riding legends George Moore and Roy Higgins as the only Australasian jockeys to have won 100 Group One races or more.

Nobody in the modern day has been able to crack the ton. Not Darren Beadman. Not Shane Dye. Not Mick Dittman.

The significance the milestone holds is not lost on Cassidy.

"When it happens, it's going to be fantastic," he said.

"It is a very elite group, they're two champions and in that respect it's going to be a very big thrill and an honour to be among those people."

Cassidy's longevity is due to many things.

Fitness, drive, talent, determination. Getting on the right horses in the right races.

He's had his share of injuries and scandal but has rebounded from them all.

The Australian Turf Club has prepared a special trophy and gift for Cassidy if Hawkspur can deliver Cassidy a Group One century.

The man himself is relaxed, realistic and simply focused on giving the horse the best chance he can.

"I haven't worried about the 100 or the 99 or the 98. I've just been going out and riding them accordingly and if it happens, it happens," Cassidy said.

"If it happens on Saturday it will be marvellous, especially to happen in Sydney.

"But if it doesn't happen in Sydney it might happen in Melbourne.

"I'm going out confident, like always, and knowing I've got the right cattle underneath me. And to give him a nice ride."

A dominant last-start winner of the Chelmsford Stakes, Hawkspur is horse to beat in the George Main.

His Waller-trained stablemates Royal Descent and Shoot Out share the second line of betting with three-year-old Dissident at $7.

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