THERE was trouble in the camp even before the local hope in Saturday’s time-honoured Victoria Derby, Scadden’s Run, hit the racetrack.
And when the horse trailed the field of 16 in the run out of the straight the first time, it was far from the ideal start for South Gippsland owner Stuart Storr, his family and their supporters at Flemington for the big event.
But under the famous urging of the jockey they call ‘The Pumper’, Jimmy Cassidy, Scadden’s Run made a thrilling run from last turning into the straight, overtaking nine horses along the way, to passing the post in seventh place.
In so doing he got his ‘hoof on the till’ as they say and earned $30,000 in prize money. Nothing to be sneezed at.
But, oh my, it could have been an even bigger share of the overall prize pool of $1.5 million had Scadden’s Run been a little closer to the head of the field at the business end of the race.
For all that, sole owner of the horse, Stuy Storr of Toora, was delighted with Scadden’s Run’s effort on the day.
“At the 200 metre mark, I can tell you, we were all up on our feet,” said Mr Storr.
“He actually had the best sectionals from the 1000 to the 600 of any horse in the race but the acceleration just wasn’t left in him to finish off the race.
“When Jimmy Cassidy got off the horse in the mounting yard after, he said ‘you’ve got quite a horse for yourselves there’, which was good to hear, although he nearly fell off when that other horse dropped back on us around the 700 metre mark.”
You can see on the replay, Scadden’s Run, bucking up and nearly dislodging Cassidy at a crucial stage.
“But he done a great job, the horse. The grandkids love him and mum would have been proud.”
Some of the proceeds of the late Dorothy Storr’s estate, Stuart’s mother and a keen racegoer herself, went into purchasing Scadden’s Run which has now established himself as a quality stayer.
“He’ll come home with us now and stay there until Christmas and then we’ll go to Sydney in the autumn. All going well, we’d like to take a crack at the AJC Derby, also over the 2500 metre distance.
“If it’s wet up there then, so much the better. He’s a real mudlark.
“But really, he’s only just had his third birthday where some of the horses he raced against were born two months earlier, which makes a big difference at that age.
“We’ve had a great run with him already but hopefully the best is still in store.”
The day started off badly for the Storr camp when former Melbourne and Caulfield Cup winning jockey, Steven King, challenged Scadden’s Run’s trainer Frankie Stockdale and Storr over the appointment of Cassidy to ride the horse in the derby. King had ridden the horse unsuccessfully at its previous three outings.
Although Cassidy was named to ride the horse early in the week, King picked race day to have a blue with the local connections over it.
“We just thought we needed to change it up a bit this week that’s all and were pleased to have Jim Cassidy riding for us. It was a bit unfortunate what happened today,” said Mr Storr.
The parties were called before the stewards in the early afternoon to decide the issue and ultimately Cassidy was confirmed as the jockey, riding the horse in what is expected to be his last Group 1 race before retiring at the end of the Flemington carnival.
The fairy tale result for everyone would have seen Cassidy go out on a high, but that’s racing.