Father-daughter team take on Sydney

Apprentice jockey Cassandra Schmidt is heading to Sydney to jump back in the saddle of her favourite horse, which just happens to be trained by her father Dwayne.

Five-year-old gelding Diversifier will have another shot at a Highway Handicap (1100m) at Saturday’s Rosehill meeting after running fifth in a previous attempt at Randwick in December, with Grafton-based trainer Schmidt hoping for a better barrier than last time.

“It was a pretty good field and he drew the extreme outside barrier,” Dwayne Schmidt said of the race.

“He’s been a bit unlucky in his lifetime with barriers. He always gets the outside.”

Dwayne’s daughter Cassandra, an apprentice jockey based on the Gold Coast, will travel to Sydney for the ride with a 2kg claim.

“It’s her favourite horse, so she’ll be there,” Schmidt said.

It could be a family reunion if Dwayne’s other daughter Priscilla, a former jockey turned Sky Racing presenter, is working in Sydney that day.

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Diversifier’s last run was at Coffs Harbour in June when he finished sixth in the 800m Class Two race.

Before that he had a six-month spell.

“He went for a spell and then he injured a leg in the paddock. He fell down a concrete pipe,” Schmidt said.

“He’s fine now, 100 per cent.”

Schmidt’s plan is to get Diversifier up to 1400m.

“He’s had a long, slow preparation. He was actually going really well, then he had a bit of a lull in between when he had his first run, but I think the 800 metres was just too short for him,” said Schmidt.

“After this run he’ll work his way towards a 1400 metre race. I think that’s what he’s looking for.”

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