Veteran jockey Jim Cassidy will be out to replicate the difference he has made to Dissident when he reunites with Strawberry Boy in the Newmarket Handicap at Newcastle on Wednesday.
Cassidy’s no-nonsense, standover approach to riding has been been acclaimed for helping Dissident turn spring promise into an autumn Group One win in Saturday’s Randwick Guineas.
And Claire Cunningham, who looks after trainer Peter Moody’s Randwick satellite stable, thinks Cassidy can also bring out the best in Strawberry Boy at Newcastle.
“I think Jimmy will suit Strawberry Boy as well, being the type of horse he is,” Cunningham said.
“We’re very, very happy to have him on board.”
Owned by John Singleton, Strawberry Boy made an immediate impression with Flemington and Caulfield wins last year after being switched to Moody from Gai Waterhouse .
But he hasn’t won in four starts since embracing the Melbourne spring and autumn carnivals.
Cassidy’s only ride on Strawberry Boy resulted in a minor placing at Group Three level when he was tried as a stayer for Waterhouse during the spring of 2012.
Moody will also send High Esteem to Newcastle with Cunningham confident the four-year-old can rediscover the spark that delivered a placing in the Cameron Handicap over Wednesday’s course.
Jockey Tim Clark will continue his association with Almighty Charge in the Newmarket, certain the Gai Waterhouse-trained four-year-old brings the right form into the race.
It took Ecuador all of the Rosehill straight to get past his stablemate when they clashed at Rosehill on March 1.
“With Ecuador being one of the favourites for the Doncaster that should hold my horse in good stead for Newcastle,” Clark said.
“I’m sure if Ecuador was lining up in this race he would be starting a pretty short-priced favourite.”
Almighty Charge has opened the $5.50 second favourite behind another stablemate Rain Drum ($4).
Rain Drum resumed at weight-for-age when close-up behind Appearance in the Apollo Stakes.
Million dollar earner Centennial Park drops 3kg on his third in the National Sprint at Canberra with trainer David Payne saying the eight-year-old is racing well enough to be a threat.
“He has dropped in the ratings and has a weight that makes him competitive,” he said.
“He loves being in work and he loves racing.”