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By Larry Cassidy | Friday, September 9, 2011

Larry Cassidy currently has forty-two Group 1 successes behind his name. He is a multiple Premiership winning jockey having taken out three titles in Sydney and one in Brisbane. Larry’s View, the personal blog of this top class rider will appear on horseracingonly.com.au every Friday, workload permitting.

The spotlight in racing at this time is firmly focused on the Carnivals in Sydney and Melbourne as we head towards the highlight of the racing year.

I’ve got great memories of the big carnivals in Sydney and Melbourne.

My best memory in Melbourne was winning on Arena in the VRC Derby.

I picked the ride up late. Darren Gauchi had been riding him, but he was injured and I was lucky enough to pick the ride up through Mr Jack Ingham.

I think we drew twelve out of twelve. We were standing in the enclosure and Jack said me, ‘it’s just a Maiden race, mate. It’s just happens to be worth a million dollars’. He said, ‘go out and ride it like a Maiden race. Go back to last. Save as much ground as you can and go from there.’

I went back to last. It is a short run to the first corner at Flemington. We began. I came out quiet. I went back to last … just slotted in on the fence.

I was still last, or second last, on the fence travelling well with 1000m to go. We slowly, gradually started to pick up momentum as we got to about the 700. At the 400 I popped off the fence to get around one horse and then actually went back to the fence. I only went around one horse the whole race.

I came off the fence again at about the 300. We hit the front at about the 200m mark.

I remember going to the line. I don’t celebrate by raising my whip very often. I did it then. It was very exciting. It is a fantastic memory.

Coming back, I can’t remember if I had my cap off and was holding it in the air … back then you could take your hat off … but suddenly he dropped me. He just whipped around and threw me. I think someone threw some flowers and he spotted them.

I landed on my feet so it didn’t count. I just climbed back on board. It was actually quite funny. I got a bit of a laugh out of it.

I had other successes on Arena. I won a Guineas on him and I won an early weight-for-age race on him.

As far as the Sydney Carnival is concerned, I’ve always had a lot of luck there.

The standout memory is a big weekend I had during the Autumn Carnival.

When I first came back from Hong Kong my wife Michelle was pregnant with my son Luke. I think she had about six weeks to go. We only just got back before she couldn’t fly.

I’d been chucked several good rides before the main weekend which was the Saturday / Monday meetings … the Doncaster, Sydney Cup, the Galaxy.

Michelle was getting very close and I remember leaving for the races on Saturday morning and giving her a kiss and saying, if anything happens today just keep your legs crossed will you, because I’ve got too many good rides to be rushing to the hospital. She said, ok darling!

On that weekend I won the Galaxy on Accomplice, the Sydney Cup on Linesman and the Doncaster on Secret Savings.

It was a very memorable weekend professionally … and then to top it off, my son was born two days later. That was a most memorable time and, obviously, my son being born capped everything off.

I always had a lot of luck at the Sydney Carnival. I won a couple of Epsoms. I won on Desert War. I won on Dodge. I won a couple of Flight Stakes. I won on Sunline and Unworldly … so the Sydney Spring Carnival was always a great Carnival for me.

If a good ride came up again in one of the bigger races down south I would certainly jump at the chance of going down to ride it.

If those chances are limited now, I certainly can’t complain.

I’ve been very fortunate in my career.

I am grateful for the opportunities I’ve had, the success I’ve achieved and the memories I’ve made.

Till next week,

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