Moifaa Article 1982

…New Zealand racing personality of the Year and Hawke’s Bay Sportsman of the year 1982.

Cassidy became just the third Australasian jockey to win 100 Group 1 races this season when successful aboard Zoustar in the Coolmore Stakes at Flemington on November 2 last year, following in the footsteps of legendary jockeys George Moore and Roy Higgins.

He has won Australasia’s greatest race the Melbourne Cup twice, the first aboard Kiwi in 1983 and the second on Might And Power in 1997, whom he also steered to win the Cox Plate the next year.

He is one of only a handful of jockeys to have completed the Australian Grand Slam, winning the Melbourne Cup, Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and Golden Slipper Stakes.

He has recorded two Caulfield Cup victories, aboard Might And Power in 1997 and Diatribe in 2000, and kicked home Ha Ha to win the 2001 Golden Slipper.

Cassidy has won the Australian Derby three times, aboard Dr Grace in 1990, Innocent King in 1993 and Roman Emperor in 2009.

He has also won the VRC Oaks five times, aboard Diamond Shower in 1986, Sandy’s Pleasure (1987), Tristanagh (1989), Weekend Delight (1990) and Dear Demi (2012) and the VRC Derby twice, on Omnicorp (1987) and Handy Proverb (1985).

Of all the New Zealand thoroughbred jumpers during the decade of 1900-1909, the best remembered was Moifaa.

He was the first New Zealand-bred to win the famous English Grand National at Aintree.

…lumped 10 stone 12lb to a decisive win, was undoubtedly his best New Zealand performance.

Hawke’s Bay-based Alf Ellingham bred Moifaa and his wife owned the horse when he won the Great Northern Steeples and in his other major wins as a 5-year-old.

But it was another prominent Hawke’s Bay racing identity, Spencer Gollan, who bought the big jumper and took him to England for his historic win in the English Grand National.

Gollan had long nurtured the ambition of owning the first colonial horse to win the English Grand National.

Moifaa was sent to England in the care of trainer Jim Hickey, a noted conditioner of jumpers who had won the 1888 New Zealand Grand National Steeples with Mangaohane.

Moifaa, a huge gelding by New Zealand Derby winner Natator from a good steeplechasing mare named Denbigh, failed to show up in his first English start, at Hurst Park.

He improved to finish third at his second start, in the Liverpool Trial and then, at odds of 40 to one, he took the lead in the first round of the Grand National at Aintree and cleared out to win easily.

Photo Caption – IRON HORSE; Moifaa won the Grand National at Aintree. (1904)

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