Wagga-based trainer Scott Spackman has about 12 thoroughbreds in regular work. His is a stable which punches well above its weight. Each horse is important to him and his staff. It doesn’t worry the Spackman stable where they go and where they race. They place their horses where they need to be. There is an old saying in the industry that you can find a race for every horse. Only last week Spackman was plying his trade at the picnic races at Dederang, picking up the first-place cheque of $2,760 in the Dederang Cup. A race he was more than happy to win. He said, “I had one in at Dederang last week. We picked up the Dederang Cup, that was big.” The horse which won that race was Cryfowl. A 7 year old gelding familiar to Harden locals and the picnic cup scene and one which was at his stable before going to another trainer, only to return to Spackman.

 

Cryfowl took out the 2019 Graymont and Nathan Schofield Carpentry Harden Picnic Cup in 2019 carrying 67.5 kilos. The Spackman stable’s focus this week turns to a much larger prize and a much lighter weight. 56.5 kilos to be exact. In fact, it doesn’t get any larger than the Golden Slipper, the richest race for 2 year olds in the world. The Penfold family will be paying the $150,000 late entry fee to enter the race and this means they will have to find just $12,000 to do so, when put alongside Rocket Tiger’s winnings of $138,000 from 4 career starts. Maria and Noel Penfold from Wagga alongside their son who now lives in Wollongong own Rocket Tiger and have sent many of their horses to Scott to train. For their son, it’s the first horse he has been involved in.

He won on protest at Canberra in his first start. His second race saw him step up in class at Randwick and take home $58,000 in the Boxing Day Plate. He stalked the leader in second place after jumping from barrier 5 and came to terms with Vandoula Lass at the 350 metre mark before refusing to be beaten. The race caller yelling, “Rocket Tiger is really in for the fight and wore down the favourite Vandoula Lass” to win by .2 of a length. His 3rd start was the Silver Slipper at Rosehill where 4 of the last 9 winners of the race have gone on to win the Golden Slipper. He jumped from barrier 2 and settled midfield 4 lengths off the leader at the 600 metre mark. He was held up for a run and it took until the 200 metre mark for him to get out before lengthening in the straight to go down to Home Affairs by .2 of a length. The race caller said, “Boy the horse from Wagga, Rocket Tiger, didn’t he give that a real shake up? Trained by Scott Spackman, Rocket Tiger! didn’t he make his presence felt? really surging at the end.” The Black Opal in Canberra beckoned for the gelding by Cluster out of Takook, with the stable deciding to change his race tactics and take any bad luck out of the equation after he got boxed in during the previous race.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing and Spackman said the tactics in the Black Opal didn’t give his gelding the best chance. “It was still a good run but it was my fault,” Spackman said. “We tried to take the bad luck out of the race by leading, but he’s just better with a sit. He loves to chase. I’m proud of what the horse done. I’m dirty on myself not the horse. The horse was dirty on me. He pulled up a treat, we wouldn’t be contemplating it if he wasn’t 100 percent right.” Spackman the boy from Harden couldn’t be prouder of the horse under his care, nor happier that the owners have placed a number of horses in his care over the years including his current stable star.

He said “It’s Bloody awesome and that they have faith in me to do the job.” Rocket Tiger has been drawn out of Barrier 14, however, Spackman doesn’t see this as a problem. “It will suit him from barrier 14, it’s just where he gets to in the run.” Scott wanted to thank all the people who have helped him along the way during his training career. It’s a long list, but the Wagga trainer remains humble and picked up the phone for our reporter as he always does, to discuss his stable, taking 5 minutes out of his busy schedule and what looms as the biggest race of his career.

The Spackman stable has dared to dream and so have the owners. That dream may become reality if Rocket Tiger is first past the post just after 4:30pm in Race 7 at Rosehill on Saturday.

Prizemoney Of $3,500,000.1st $2,000,000, 2nd $600,000, 3rd $300,000, 4th $170,000, 5th $110,000, 6th $50,000, 7th $50,000, 8th $50,000, 9th $50,000, 10th $50,000,

Number – Horse – Trainer – Jockey – Barrier – Weight

1 – SHAQUERO (Chris Waller) – Kerrin McEvoy – 15 – 56.5kg 2 – PROFITEER (Mick Price and Michael Kent Jr) – Hugh Bowman – 5 – 56.5kg 3 – ARTORIUS (Anthony and Sam Freedman) – Luke Currie – 13 – 56.5kg 4 – INGRATIATING (James Cummings) – Damien Oliver – 11 – 56.5kg 5 – ANAMOE (James Cummings) – Rachel King – 16 – 56.5kg 6 – HOME AFFAIRS (Chris Waller) – James McDonald – 2 – 56.5kg 7 – KALASHNIKOV (Peter and Paul Snowden) – Mark Zahra – 1 – 56.5kg 8 – STAY INSIDE (Richard and Michael Freedman) – Tommy Berry – 3 – 56.5kg 9 – ROCKET TIGER (Scott Spackman) – Kathy O’Hara – 14 – 56.5kg 10 – O’PRESIDENT (Chris Waller) – Glen Boss – 8 – 56.5kg 11 – CAPTIVANT (Peter and Paul Snowden) – Tom Marquand – 9 – 56.5kg 12 – GLISTENING (Richard and Michael Freedman) – Jean Van Overmeire – 7 – 54.5kg 13 – FOUR MOVES AHEAD (John Sargent) – Nash Rawiller – 10 – 54.5kg 14 – SWIFT WITNESS (Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott) – Tim Clark – 12 – 54.5kg 15 – MALLORY (Gerald Ryan and Sterling Alexiou) – Jason Collett – 6 – 54.5kg 16 – QUEEN OF WIZARDRY (Anabel Neasham) – John Allen – 4 – 54.5kg