Cassidy Sticks With His Derby Hope In Queensland Guineas

Jockey Larry Cassidy has thrown a curve ball by sticking with emerging stayer Southern Stock in the Group 2 Queensland Guineas at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

Cassidy has always had a big opinion of Southern Stock who is being aimed at the Group 1 Queensland Derby over 2400 metres at Eagle Farm on May 28.

Cassidy rode Green Belt when the Victorian finished second in the Listed Daybreak Lover Stakes at Eagle Farm on April 16 and was offered the Queensland Guineas ride.

It was the first defeat in three starts for the Mick Price and Michael Kent junior-trained Green Belt whose Queensland Derby aspirations hinge on his Queensland Guineas performance.

“I was offered the ride on Green Belt in the Guineas but I decided to stay loyal and ride Southern Stock for our Queensland stable and Chris Munce,” Cassidy said.

“I know Southern Stock will stay and will be one of the best stayers in the Queensland Derby.

“It’s just a matter whether he has the class.”

Cassidy, a winner of 42 Group 1 races, knows what it takes to win a Queensland Derby having won three on Dodge (1998), Court Ruler (2009) and Freemason (2000).

Munce believes Southern Stock may find his Queensland Guineas opposition too sharp but is delighted with his progress ahead of his Queensland Derby assignment.

Southern Stock stamped himself a genuine winter contender with a dominant all the way win against his own age over 2000 metres on a heavy track at Eagle Farm on March 26.

“My horse if going to the Derby and Larry is booked to ride him right through his campaign,” Munce said.

“It was a good win from him last time and he’s a genuine stayer.

“They might be too sharp for him over the mile but it’ll be a different story when he gets back to 2000 metres and more.”

Southern Stock was bought in New Zealand by prominent owner Harry Reed who sent the son of Tavistock to Munce to train.

Munce also will saddle up Sea Ripple in the Queensland Guineas.

Sea Ripple is yet to miss a place in three starts and is making her stable debut for Munce after being transferred from Caloundra’s David Vandyke.

The daughter of Sebring hasn’t raced since finishing second in a Class 2 at the Sunshine Coast on April 17.

“She’s only a Class 1 filly but she’s a very nice filly,” Munce said.

Southern Stock is a $21 chance and will be out to become the first local to win the Queensland Guineas since the Steve O’Dea-trained Sir Moments was successful in 2014.

Munce is yet to win the Queensland Guineas as a trainer but won it three times as a jockey aboard Solar Circle (1990), Coolong Road (1992) and Sizzling (2013).

– Racing Queensland

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