Jim Cassidy Australian Jockey
Jimmy Cassidy Wins Melbourne Cup, Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate & Golden Slipper
When we last examined Jim Cassidy two years ago, it seemed as though “swan song” could be the description for his career at that point.
Here it is two years later and Cassidy is still soldiering on, although he no longer commands the quality of mount that he did during his heyday.
Jim Cassidy continues to make the most of his opportunities and has won almost 50 times over the course of the last twelve months, so it is obvious that he loves what he does and is not one to sulk as he winds his Hall of Fame career to a hopefully satisfactory conclusion.
Career Grand Slam
He is one of only seven jockeys in the history of the sport to have won a career grand slam by winning the Melbourne Cup, Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and the Golden Slipper Stakes.
His perseverance through injuries and his determination to not permit an occasional penalty and suspension deter him are just a couple of the attributes that have made him one of the all-time greats of the turf racing circuit.
Cassidy was born in January of 1963 across the Tasman in New Zealand. He achieved the ultimate victory in only his 20 th year when he won the 1983 Melbourne Cup on Kiwi, bringing that New Zealand gelding from dead last to post a 1-1/4 length victory. He was to again drink from the Cup in 1997, when Might And Power was in his prime. That pair also combined for the victory in the 1998 W. S. Cox Plate.
Three Australian Derby Victories
Jim Cassidy has enjoyed a longevity that was also productive. Evidence of this would be supplied by the three Australian Derby victories that spanned the time from 1990 to 2009.
Cassidy grew up desirous of becoming a rugger rather than a jockey. He toured Australia when he was but eleven, where he apparently displayed sufficient skills to join fellow New Zealanders for a rugby tour.
Cassidy was introduced to Kiwi in 1981, when he rode that horse in a race on New Zealand’s upper island. They also together won the Wellington Cup in fine fashion as a prelude to their Melbourne Cup victory.
That Cup victory displayed a maturity on Cassidy’s part that belied his few years and limited experience in the saddle. He held Kiwi toward the back right up until the final straight, and then turned him loose to run down the entire field and bring home a 9/1 winner that had been purchased for $1000.
That early initial success played a role in Cassidy’s decision to relocate to Sydney the following year, where he quickly gathered a loyal following of punters who relished the reckless abandon with which he rode and a penchant for performing impossible feats on a horse.
Jim Cassidy has also been consistent throughout his tenure in the saddle, averaging nearly five rides per meeting and winning twice in one meeting on no fewer than 118 occasions.
He has taken in well over $50 million in prize money as well. He has enjoyed the lion’s share of his success at Randwick and Canterbury, but has done alright by himself at other tracks, and has continued to produce Group 1 wins in 2012 and 2013.
Jockey Tapes Affair
Jim Cassidy has not escaped occasional struggles. He was initially suspended for three years for his role in the Jockey Tapes Affair that rocked the racing establishment in 1995. That suspension was subsequently lowered to less than two years, but it came at a time when Cassidy was clearly in his prime, leading one to wonder about the damage sustained to his racing resume.
He has also endured his share of injuries that include typical jockey complaints of knee and back injuries, but it was a freak gardening accident where he so severely cut his fingers that it was deemed career-threatening.
The stewards of New South Wales also banned him for three months in 2010 when he was tested and found positive for the presence of marijuana in his blood.
Cassidy’s last significant mount would have to be Maluckyday. The two very nearly added a third Melbourne Cup to Cassidy’s record in 2010, when only Americain with Gerald Mosse aboard stood between the two at the finish in what turned out to be the third slowest winning time in more than 30 years.
When not occupied steering thoroughbreds, Jim Cassidy enjoys spending time with his three daughters and enjoys the occasional round of golf, but it is racing that takes center stage, even at this twilight portion of his career.
Cassidy All Time Great
Over 30 years into his love affair with racing and a record that could be spread amongst a dozen jockeys and still be considered above average, along with the tenacity to overcome pain and sanction, has proved Jim Cassidy a rightful contender for the title of one of the All Time Greats.