In-form Spackman duo to target Wagga features

Rocket Tiger and Smokin’ Cod will head towards feature races at the Murrumbidgee Turf Club in early May. Photo: Spackman Racing.

Wagga trainer Scott Spackman is enjoying a good run of form, with the Harden product and Wagga trainer tasting success during the recent Albury Gold Cup carnival.

Combining with popular South East jockey Shaun Guymer, the stable celebrated a win with Smokin’ Cod, which took out the $35,000 Country Boosted 1400m Class One Handicap on Thursday.

After sitting second to last in the seven furlong event, Guymer opted for the inside run and the pair pulled away to win comfortably in the end. 

“This is what it’s all about,” Spackman said. 

“They’re like little Grand Finals, and to perform on those days, it means we are up to it, and we know what we are doing.

“These horses can be very hard to place sometimes, but that was the perfect race for her.”

The three-year-old, which is a full sister to Rocket Tiger, being by Cluster and out of Takook, has turned into a nice type, having started eight times for two wins and three placings, earning Noel Penfold and connections over $44,000 in prizemoney.

“I’ll be honest, early on, I thought she was the pick of them, and I probably talked her up too much,” Spackman laughed. 

“I’ve been saying all along, she has promised me the world and handed me an atlas, but in saying that, a lot of the time, it’s not been her fault.

“I took her to Canterbury first-up, and she slipped over and hurt herself (and was a late-scratching), and it took her some time to get over that. 

“She’s taken a bit of time to get right, but she won at Narrandera, and she was still learning.”

Following a 17-week spell, the young filly placed in back-to-back races at Wagga before winning at Albury, and Spackman hinted that she has matured and started to develop into a well-rounded galloper. 

“She is more put together after the break, and we haven’t had any problems and everything has gone our way,” Spackman said. 

“Her first-up run was good, and at her second-up run, she was a bit stiff and probably should have won, and Shaun came out and said he pressed the button and went a bit early, but I wasn’t bothered by the ride.

“Third-up, she demonstrated to us what she is capable of.”

Smokin’ Cod will head towards the Gundagai meeting on April 16 before she is set for the $80,000 Murrumbidgee Turf Club Guineas on May 5. 

“We’ll head to that Class Two 1400m at Gundagai, and that should be a good pipe-opener for the MTC Guineas, and that is her ultimate goal and Mo Chara is also heading down that same path.

“He (Mo Chara) is harder to place to give him a run, and I’m not sure if he’ll get a mile, but that is the target right now.”

Spackman was also pleased to see Rocket Tiger bounce back to form at Albury on Thursday, with the four-year-old finishing second in the $75,000 City Handicap over the 1175m journey. 

Also ridden by Guymer, Rocket Tiger found the line strongly when beaten by 2.28 lengths by the Paul Murray-trained and Nick Souquet-ridden Espirito.

Spackman said he will now set the talented sprinter for the $200,000 Wagga Town Plate, which will be run and won at Wagga on May 4.

“He needed a good run, and it was just nice to see him hit the line. He probably could have been a bit closer, but it was a good run,” Spackman said. 

“I haven’t picked anything else out yet, but he is going to the Wagga Town Plate, and where I run him next is yet to be decided.” 

For the time being, Spackman will focus his attention on Sunday’s meeting at Wagga, where he will have up to four starters.