Retired jockey Jim Cassidy has joined the tributes for Might And Power, the horse who captured the public’s imagination with his breathtaking wins in Australia’s biggest races.
The 26-year-old popular resident of the aptly named Living Legends retirement home died in the early hours of Sunday morning after a bout of colic.
Might And Power’s performance to lead all the way in the 1997 Caulfield Cup and win by 7-1/2 lengths stands as one of the great moments in racing.
And Cassidy takes pride in his decision to let him bowl along in front that day.
“I was told not to lead on him in the Caulfield Cup,” Cassidy told ABC Grandstand.
“I had a meeting with my manager and I said if I lead they can’t beat him.
“I’ve never seen a horse walk around mounting yard the way he did on Caulfield Cup day.
“I thought he was unbeatable that day.”
Cassidy used the same tactics on Might And Power in the Melbourne Cup a couple of weeks later over the gruelling 3200m.
The margin over Doriemus was slender, so much so rival jockey Greg Hall thought he had won.
But Might And Power had kept his nose in front to complete the famous double.
“The Caulfield Cup and the Melbourne Cup are two totally different races,” Cassidy said.
“There was a lot against him winning. He had to run two miles.
“No horse had ever led and won the Melbourne Cup so there were more minuses than pluses.”
Might And Power, who completed the big three of Australian racing in the 1998 Cox Plate, helped mark a resurgence in Cassidy’s fortunes after he was disqualified for giving tips in the Jockey Tapes affair.
“It’s well publicised, the jockey tapes,” he said.
“I was rubbed out and trainer Jack Denham gave me a lifeline.
“I found Might And Power in a 1900 metre race at Canterbury and he lived up to expectations.
“It’s very sad. He was a horse that gave me so many thrills and brought me back from exile.
“He had a will to win like Usain Bolt, like Richie McCaw leading out the All Blacks.
“He just broke their hearts.”