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Inspired by the mud, glamour and excitement of last weekend’s Kentucky Derby, leading jockey Jim Cassidy has his sights set on the 140th running of the prestigious race next year - but the champion hoop will be packing his golf clubs rather than his saddle.

The Melbourne Cup and Golden Slipper winning jockey has teamed up with golf professional Mike Mosher to escort Teed-Up Golf Tour’s inaugural Kentucky Derby Golf Tour, from April 28 to May 6, 2014.

Teed Up, Australia’s leading golf tour company, has created a golf and racing themed experience that includes being trackside at Churchill Downs next May when 20 top thoroughbreds vie for glory before the eyes of world in the race dubbed ‘the fastest two minutes in sports’.  

The racing theme of the tour continues with tickets to the Kentucky Oaks and a ‘money can’t buy’ opportunity to tour Coolmore’s Ashford Stud in the heart of “Bluegrass” Kentucky. Ashford is home to America’s best young sires and the experience also includes a luncheon hosted by Coolmore.

The 2014 Kentucky Derby Golf Tour is also a chance to experience some of America’s finest golf courses and hone game skills under the guidance of golf professional Mike Mosher whose 10 years on the professional circuit included several Pro Am wins, qualifying for three Australian Opens and making the cut in the 1996 tournament which marked Greg Norman’s fifth Australian Open victory.   

The tour includes four rounds of golf played at The Pete Dye and Donald Ross Courses at The French Lick, the Big Spring Country Club and Valhalla Golf Club. Valhalla, which has been ranked in America's Top 100 Greatest Golf Courses for the past 22 years, has hosted PGA Championship wins by some of the biggest names in world golf, including Tiger Woods, Tom Watson and Hale Irwin.  

The 2014 Kentucky Derby Golf Tour experience is topped off with a tour of a Kentucky bourbon distillery and accommodation at the historic French Lick Springs Hotel and The Galt House, the official hotel of the Kentucky Derby.  

For Jim Cassidy, it promises to be ‘the trip of a lifetime’.

“It’s an outstanding opportunity for all golf enthusiasts and racing fans – for me, it will be the trip of a lifetime,” he says.  “It doesn’t get much better than playing some of the world’s top golf courses and experiencing one of the world’s great races – it’s the ultimate holiday experience in my book.”

Jim Cassidy’s skills on a golf course are not quite on par with those on a racehorse, but they are impressive nonetheless - his handicap has been as low as 7, but is currently 10. As a licensed jockey, he will not be able to tip on the Kentucky Derby, but he is hoping to pick up some golfing tips from Mike Mosher.

“I haven’t spent anywhere near as much time as I’d like to on a golf course during the past few years due to a pretty demanding racing schedule, but I’ve made the decision that I won’t ride in the Brisbane carnival next year and am committed to escorting Teed-Up’s inaugural Kentucky Derby Golf Tour with Mike,” Jim says.  “Teed Up is Australia’s leading golf tour company and I’m honoured and proud to be part of this landmark tour.  Mike’s an ex-tour player, and also a great teacher from what I have heard from others in the industry, so I’m looking forward to picking up some tips from him for my game”

While Jim Cassidy is never likely to ride in a Kentucky Derby he is looking forward to experiencing its thrill as a spectator.  The first Saturday in May in Kentucky is akin to the first Tuesday in November in Australia when the nation stops for the running of the Melbourne Cup. The Kentucky Derby has its own great traditions with the coveted Garland of Roses, the Mint Julep cocktail and the moving moment when the horses take to track to the strains of My Old Kentucky Home.

“The Kentucky Derby is one of the world’s great races – it will be tremendous just to be there, riding or not,” Jim says.  “Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May is a world of excitement with the huge number of people who attend, the great traditions and the top class racing.  It will be a terrific thrill for me to experience it.”  

The jockey is also looking forward to trying his hand at the new experience of ‘tour escort’ and to sharing the duties with Mike Mosher.

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