From Golden Slipper to Ardlethan Cup – Spackman and Cryfowl chase picnic cup glory

Cryfowl will back up from Saturday’s Dederang Cup win when contesting the Ardlethan Picnic Cup this weekend. Photo: PicnicBet.

Far from the glitz and glamour of Saturday’s Golden Slipper, where Scott Spackman will have Rocket Tiger contesting the $3.5 million two-year-old event at Rosehill Gardens, the Harden product, who is now based in Wagga, will also have Cryfowl contesting the annual Ardlethan Picnic Cup. 

Spackman will make the trip to Sydney, and a team of helpers will make sure Cryfowl, who is one of the state’s most popular picnic gallopers, is set and ready to take on the $8,000 feature event over the 1600m at Ardlethan. 

“I’ll be in Sydney and Mont (Waters) and a good mate of mine Paul Flanagan will be helping me out,” Spackman said. 

The seven-year-old, who is fresh off a win in the Dederang Cup on Saturday, will be one of the main dangers in the 1600m feature event.

“He is an old war horse, he went well in the 1650m on the weekend,” Spackman said

“I’ve got a lot of time for the old horse. He is a bit of an old shit, but he is an honest old bugger. If you put him in the right spots, you are going to win races.

“I can’t see why he can’t win it. I’ve had two runners in the Ardlethan Cup before – Treasure Peace won my first one and Tyson Tiger come second in the other one.”

With the stable focused on their Group One ambitions in Sydney with Rocket Tiger, Spackman could have been forgiven for forgetting about the Ardlethan Cup, but true to his nature, he said it didn’t matter where they were racing, as long as he was there.

“I just love racing – It doesn’t matter where, I just want to be there,” Spackman said. 

Spackman will team up with Belinda Wright at Ardlethan, with the popular picnic hoop guiding Cryfowl to victory at Dederang.

There was some concern that Wright might be unavailable, as she will be with her stable (Jason Warren and Dean Krongold) when Brooklyn Hustle races in the William Reid Stakes at Moonee Valley on Friday night, but Spackman confirmed she would be backing up for the ride. 

“She is going to be at Mooney Valley, but she is also going to Ardlethan,” Spackman laughed. 

“She will be on both of my runners at Ardlethan and she will give them a good go.”

Spackman himself will be taking the family to Sydney, teaming up with Emily Waters as their 50/1 shot chases a fairy tale finish to his two-year-old season. 

“I’ll go down with Emily, my wife and my son. We will just get down there on the day,” Spackman said. 

Connections have drawn gate 14 in the big race, but Spackman was leaving it up to his jockey, Kathy O’Hara, to make a call on where he races once the gates crash back. 

“I think we jump and probably sit midfield and probably slot in somewhere,” Spackman said. 

“It depends on the speed but my intentions would be to jump and go but I don’t think you need to over analyse it; I’ll be doing my best and she will be doing her best on the day.”

With Cryfowl set to headline the Ardlethan Picnic Cup, punters and racing fans can still get tickets to the event, with the gates opening at 11am and the first race set to jump at 1.30pm. 

It will be a six-race-program with fashions on the field, food and bar facilities and plenty of entertainment on offer.