JIM CASSIDY has been around long enough and ridden in too many major races to allow his rivals in tomorrow's Caulfield Cup to be privy to his race-day strategy for import Glencadam Gold.
Hardened by Australian racing, Glencadam Gold's rise to Caulfield Cup favouritism had been perfect until a wide barrier loomed as his greatest hurdle to winning Australia's second-biggest handicap.
However, if Cassidy had concerns about barrier 21 he certainly wasn't letting on yesterday. ''I'll be going out with plan A, B and C and we'll see what happens once we get out of the straight,'' he told the media.
His confidence in Glencadam Gold and trainer Gai Waterhouse was all the Sydney jockey was concerned about yesterday. He said he knew Waterhouse had done a great job planning the horse's lead-up and that he was only going ''to put the finishing touches on''.
''He's an on-speed horse and one good thing about him is he's not going to be in the [barrier] boxes that long. Hopefully we can get a good start and roll forward and either find the fence or be in the first couple somewhere,'' he said.
Cassidy said he was not concerned that he had never been on Glencadam Gold's back, citing his experience with his first Caulfield Cup winner, Might And Power.
''I was booked on the Tuesday before the Caulfield Cup to ride Might And Power. I never rode him in his previous start in the Epsom. I just got to Caulfield on the Saturday and the rest is history.
''And I will tell you this, if Might And Power was in this year's Caulfield Cup he would lap them. He was a great horse. And after that I never saw him again until in the mounting yard at Flemington on Cup day and he did the job again.''
''He was a tough guy, he would need to be led down the track with the help of a pony before the race and before going on to the track he would be trying to jump out of the mounting yard and get running,'' Cassidy said.
Glencadam Gold will start from the second-widest gate, just one inside reigning Melbourne Cup champion Dunaden. While the two European-breds have drawn badly, they have contrasting styles of racing. When pressed, Cassidy said leading the cup field was not vital to the horse's chances of winning. ''I don't think he has to lead,'' Cassidy said. ''He's obviously led in most of the races in Sydney … but Gai trains the horses to race on speed. Caulfield's a bit different, starting halfway up the straight and running into a tight turn,'' he said.