JIM Cassidy had a puff of marijuana and got caught.
I like Cassidy a lot, he’s a man’s man, but I have no sympathy for him.
Although marijuana is not a hard drug and is considered a recreational drug by a lot of the population, it still plays tricks with your mind just as alcohol does.
In a sport where peoples’ lives are at risk, the stewards have to clamp down on all drugs and they do.
It is no use the stipes telegraphing their punches and going through the motions by testing jockeys at the races on Wednesdays and Saturdays. If they did they would catch nobody. They caught The Pumper when they tested eight jockeys on a Monday early last month.
To Cassidy’s credit he put his hands up and pleaded guilty although I understand the amount of marijuana was minute and only just exceeded the threshold level. He didn’t have a whinge, he copped it on the chin.
The stipes to their credit handled the whole sorry affair magnificently. Unlike some headline hunters in the racing business, they did not seek maximum attention by releasing the findings in the lead-up to the Cup, but instead held the inquiry yesterday after the Cup was run and won and then handed down the three months.
It sounds bizarre but I think if Cassidy had won his third Melbourne Cup on Tuesday he may have retired. Although 47, he is a fitness fanatic and the fittest in the jockeys room, but recent operations to an ankle, a knee and one of his hands have brought with them residual pain, making life uncomfortable.
So why won’t he retire now?
A horse called Maluckyday that’s why. Cassidy is totally wrapped up in the horse and it was no surprise to him that the horse ran second in the Cup. The Pumper is already thinking towards 2011.
Also the horse is owned by his close friend and confidante Nick Moraitis and Jim would just love to win another big one for the big fella.