Jim Cassidy the king of controversy on eventful day at the track

We need to talk: Nash Rawiller (in blue) heads towards a win on Woodbine ... and a chat with the stewards. Photo: Jenny Evans
We need to talk: Nash Rawiller (in blue) heads towards a win on Woodbine ... and a chat with the stewards. Photo: Jenny Evans

Jim Cassidy led the way on Saturday regarding three controversial rides – two by champions and one by a great. Social media went berserk over Cassidy’s handling of Madam Nash in the Schweppes at Rosehill, particularly as the torrid tempo suited favourite and winner Junoob, also prepared by Chris Waller. Cassidy comes into champion status and his effort on Madam Nash was compared with the recent Glyn Schofield debacle, when the South African was found guilty of going too fast and outed for a month.

Of course Damien Oliver maintains a high ‘‘C’’, not apparent on La Venta, his mount in the Miller Handicap at Caulfield. La Venta was expected to lead but was given the option of taking a sit; in hindsight Ollie later told stewards he pulled the wrong rein. ‘‘It was noted that La Venta was held up rounding the home turn and in the straight until inside the 200m and again over the concluding stages,’’ stewards reported.

Racing NSW stipes were quick to grill Rawiller, great but a period of excellence is required to go to the next ‘‘C’’ level, over his tactics on Woodbine, the $1.30 favourite, who won ATC head at Rosehill by a last stride head. Rawiller took Woodbine seven wide in the straight following ‘‘explicit instructions’’ from trainer Gai Waterhouse looking for better going. Waterhouse, with an appreciation for the vagaries of ground and wind, has often been on the right track seeking an edge but had this gone astray Rawiller would have been the fall guy. He was reminded about ‘‘giving his mount full opportunity to win’’ by stewards as there was no ‘‘compelling reason’’ to be conceding ground on Saturday.

Great jockeys don’t need instructions and once the barrier opens should take full control,  which Cassidy did on Madam Nash. However Madam Nash, a front-runner, established a big break but stewards pointed out it was a second faster than average from the 2000 metres to the 600m. Cassidy maintained he was able to give Madam Nash ‘‘a breather mid race’’ but was then unable to increase the tempo, thus disappointing. In defence of Cassidy,  ‘‘Genius’’ on Racenet opined:’’ ‘‘I backed Madam Nash knowing full well that these were the tactics that would be employed, on a day it was hard to make up too much ground. Pumper is the best in the business out in front; love his stop start tactics.  Just not good enough on the day.’’


‘‘RewardBet is a great piece of technology that gives the punter far more control –  especially over exotics –   than they would have by level staking or boxing multiples,’’ Betfair’s Daniel Bevan emailed regarding the product of another betting house, Luxbet. ‘‘Why stake your trifecta evenly when you think the favourite is going to win and have thrown a $50-1 pop in hoping it runs third and injects some value?

The appetite for this sort of technology in the mass market is a clear demonstration of increasing awareness and price sensitivity in the wagering market. This flies in the face of Peter V’landys’ comments on Melbourne radio this week, where he basically said that punters would take what they’re given because, in the main, they expect to lose.’’ My own puny attempt at RewardBet in the last at Rosehill on Saturday produced the winner, Rowie, and minor placegetter Zauberflote. Even superior technology doesn’t work unless you find the right horses.


The weak strike rate of Chris Waller with two-year-olds doesn’t concern major syndicator Denise Martin, who switched allegiance from Gai Waterhouse. Waller looked like adding to a hardly imposing record in this category when Delectation dashed to the front in the Membership at Rosehill on Saturday, only to wilt over the latter stages.

‘‘Earlier in her career Gai wasn’t regarded as a two-year-old trainer either but she got into the groove,’’ Martin pointed out at the Randwick barrier trials on Friday. Already Martin has purchased 23 yearlings for Waller and will take it up to her normal 30 next season. She is moving her office to Waller’s Rosehill stables, where she will get the opportunity to study the systems which make him so successful and how he will apply them to youngsters.


Three-year-old Savvy Nature had a quiet Randwick barrier trial on Friday but looked ready for a bold preparation. Trainer John O’Shea is setting him for the Doncaster at Randwick and is confident the minor breathing problem that came against him in the Victoria Derby at Flemington last start won’t be a problem.


Lord Of The Sky, the $1.90 favourite, finished last in Saturday’s Adams Stakes at Caulfield and jockey Glen Boss told stewards the gelding felt the heat.

This story Jim Cassidy the king of controversy on eventful day at the track first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.