Sydney racegoers farewell Jimmy Cassidy

While Jimmy Cassidy gave autographs and handed out “I Love Pumper” hats to fans, Australian Turf Club boss Darren Pearce scribbled a few words in his racebook.

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It was a note to himself to find a race or a role for the 52-year-old, in the wake of his retirement.

Jimmy “The Pumper” Cassidy farewelled his 37-year riding career at a day dedicated to him at Rosehill on Saturday.

Flanked by his wife Vicki, daughters Piper and Sarsha and his mother Francie, the winner of 104 Group 1 races thanked owners, trainers, jockeys, media, public and his family for a wonderful time at the top of Australian racing.

“We’ve got to find a race or a role for Jimmy,” Pearce told AAP.

“I haven’t got the idea yet. I’ve got to work one up.”

Pearce said perhaps the ATC could create a race in his name for apprentice jockeys or the media could use his obvious skill in front of the camera.

“He’d be a prime candidate because he’s just so fluent in racing,” Pearce said.

Cassidy stunned race fans late last month when he announced he would retire on November 5, VRC Oaks day at Flemington.

Asked about his future, Cassidy told AAP he wasn’t sure but there were a few short-term things on the agenda.

“There’ll probably be a book come out towards the end of next year, middle of next year,” Cassidy said.

“I’ll definitely stay in the industry in some way.

“Anything, media maybe, whatever.

“I’m going to go away and have a holiday and decide when I come back but I’ll certainly keep active and keep busy.”

Cassidy also indicated a willingness to play a role in training younger riders.

“I would love to help them out, advise them, and anything to help their skills,” he said.

“It can only help the industry.”

Jockey Jason Collett said Cassidy should stick around to share his expertise.

“It would be a loss to the industry if they didn’t at some point try to involve him, get him back into it, in that side of things. He’d be a huge help,” Collett said.

Trainer Chris Waller agreed Cassidy had a role to play.

“I think Jim Cassidy will be a great person to pass on some of that confidence to our younger jockeys,” he said.

Waller has been a Pumper fan much longer than he has been a top trainer.

“From a 10-year-old boy I was looking at my walls and he was on it,” he said.

Chief NSW Steward Ray Murrihy was succinct in his praise for Cassidy.

“He is an enduring champion,” he said.


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