iskander

Yorke decision crucial for Cassidy


Coffs Harbour trainer Gordon Yorke could play a crucial role in Larry Cassidy’s bid to claim the Brisbane jockeys’ premiership at the season’s final meeting at Doomben.
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Cassidy has a full book of eight mounts and needs to ride a double to snatch the premiership from Stathi Katsidis who will miss the meeting to ride AJC Australian Derby winner Shoot Out in the Group Three Bletchingly Stakes at Caulfield.

One Lickety Split is vying for favouritism in Saturday’s Markinson Business Solutions Handicap (1200m) but Yorke is wary about running the colt with his topweight of 58.5 kilograms on a heavy track.

The rising four-year-old is unbeaten in two starts on slow tracks but has the opposite record of two failures from as many starts on heavy tracks.

Cassidy conceded his premiership battle was looking shaky when he had only five rides at acceptance time on Thursday before picking up three late mounts.

“It wasn’t looking too good there for a while when I had only five rides but things are looking slightly better now,” Cassidy said.

“It’s still a big ask and I’d prefer to be in Stathi’s position.

“I rang for the ride on One Lickety Split when I knew the rain was coming but I’m not sure now if Gordon will start him on a heavy track.”

One Lickety Split, a son of Medecis, returned from knee surgery to just fail to haul in Toowoomba filly Falvelina over 1110 metres at Doomben on July 17.

“He was very unlucky not to win. He was going ro run third at the 50 metres when Shane Scriven drove him through a gap,” Yorke said.

“Unfortunately, the horse had a bit of a look around before taking the run and it cost him the race.

“I won’t make a decision about him running until Saturday.”

The premiership also isn’t finished for third-placed Jim Byrne who could snatch an unlikely fourth title if he can ride four winners and Cassidy is restricted to one win or less.

Katsidis has already wrapped up the Australian jockeys’ premiership with 169.5 wins, well clear of Byrne with 150 wins while Melbourne’s Luke Nolen has ridden 132 winners

Nash Rawiller, who has a mortgage on the Sydney premiership this season, is next with 125 wins.

Cassidy isn’t happy with Queensland’s rules which include second placings to decide the Brisbane jockeys’ premiership in the event of a deadlock.

He will put himself in elite company if he can win his first Brisbane title, joining Mick Dittman and Brian York as the winner of both the Sydney and Brisbane premierships.

While Dittman and York won their Brisbane premierships before heading south to continue their careers, Cassidy is trying to do it the opposite way after claiming Sydney honours in 1997-98, 1998-99 and 1999-2000.

Yorke hasn’t ruled out sending One Lickety Split to Melbourne for a spring campaign if he returns to winning form.

“The horse is over the surgery he had and will be around for a long time now,” Yorke said.

“If he wins I’m thinking about sending him to Melbourne for the spring as a stepping stone to going back there next year when he’s a five-year-old.”