News In Brief
Rondinella Photo: Race Images
Sydney options for Rondinella
Cambridge trainer Roger James is pleased with the way Rondinella has come through her last-start placing in the Gr.1 Bonecrusher New Zealand Stakes (2000m).
The four-year-old mare, prepared in partnership with Robert Wellwood, finished third behind Melody Belle and Danzdanzdance on an unsuitable Heavy track at Ellerslie last Saturday.
“There is every chance she is going to run in Australia next start,” James said.
“Quite possibly in Sydney next weekend. She will hold a nomination for the Ranvet (Gr.1, 2000m) and the Epona Stakes (Gr.3, 1900m) on the same day.”
The daughter of Ocean Park is one of the most progressive gallopers in New Zealand and has won four of her 11 career starts, with a further four placings.
Group Three target for Ardrossan
The Stephen Marsh-trained Ardrossan will trial before resuming his Australian campaign later this month.
The Redoute’s Choice entire arrived in Sydney last week with a temperature, which resulted in his withdrawal from last Saturday’s Gr.1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Randwick.
Marsh said he has improved considerably since his arrival and will now be set to tackle the Gr.3 Star Kingdom Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill later this month.
“He has improved a lot,” Marsh said. “He will trial on Monday at Rosehill and from there he will head back to Rosehill on the 30th of March and will run in a Group Three 1200m race.”
Ardrossan was in good form in New Zealand earlier this year, winning the Gr.3 Concorde Handicap (1200m) at Ellerslie in January before running third to Melody Belle in the Gr.1 BCD Sprint (1400m) at Te Rapa a fortnight later.
Jim Cassidy considers return to the saddle
Former champion jockey Jim Cassidy is considering swapping the golf course for the racecourse with a return to race riding.
Cassidy has been recovering in hospital with bleeding on the brain and bruising following a car crash.
After talking with long-time supporter John Singleton he has flagged a potential return to race riding.
He had his last ride at Flemington on VRC Oaks day in 2015 and is one of only seven jockeys to have won the four big races of the Australian turf, the Melbourne Cup, the Caulfield Cup, the Cox Plate and Golden Slipper.
"I was talking to Singo on Saturday and he said 'Pump when are you going to get the gear back on, the red gloves back on and get back out there'," Cassidy told RadioTAB.
"I'm going on 56 and my kids are settled and Jeff Lloyd's still punching them around riding plenty of winner in Queensland.
"Who knows, there might be a chance the Pump could throw them back on, but at this stage the golf course is winning."
Cassidy said he was mentally fine and the body was in good order and that he was going to catch up with Singleton to talk about life and to see what's next.
He said the last time he rode a horse was a couple of years ago when he was aboard two of Richard Laming's gallopers on the beach ahead of the Darwin Cup.
"One thing I say is never. Where there's a will there's a way," Cassidy said.
"Who knows, it (the comeback) could be in the next six months or in the next couple of weeks."