THURSDAY FEB 8
By GRAEME WHITE
Almost twelve months ago to the day, Rocket Tiger was mixing it against one of Australia’s best gallopers Think About It.
Rocket Tiger finished just on three lengths from Think About It at Randwick before that galloper embarked on his trek to greatness culminating in victory in the $20 million The Everest.
Trainer Scott Spackman has Rocket Tiger ready to start in the Jaegers Event Hire Rodney Parsons OAM Benchmark 82 (1400m) at Wagga on Thursday before contesting the Newhaven Park Southern Districts Country Championships ten days later.
“He needs the hit out before next week. It’s hard with his Benchmark of 88 to find suitable races so he will start at Wagga with 64 kilograms,” Spackman said.
“He will drop a fair bit in weight for the Championships. It will be hard for him first-up off a break with the big weight over 1400 metres, but he needs to start.
“He doesn’t need to lead and will be back a bit in the run.”
Rocket Tiger is just within the limits for the Country Championships with Thursday to be his 20th start.
The galloper has won $267,000 from his three wins and five placings and last year carried big weights when prominent in the Gundagai Snake Gully Cup and Stan Sadleir Stakes at Wagga.
The five-year-old won last year’s Wagga Town Plate prelude by more than three lengths which was his third and latest victory while he has also since been placed at Caulfield.
“His run in the Wagga Town Plate was massive and he was third first-up at Caulfield. We were trying to get him into The Kosciusko at the time,” Spackman said.
“He should have won more races, but with his benchmark it has been difficult to place him.”
Meanwhile, Wodonga trainer Craig Widdison feels Banger can be competitive in the right type of race after an improved last start second at Wagga.
“He needs things to go his way a bit because he gets back and always runs on. I can’t have him any better,” Widdison said.
“I’m not sure if my other two horses (Duped By Spin and Bold Triumph) will start.
“Bold Triumph has also drawn wide at Wodonga on Thursday.”
Banger finished second behind Cream Rises over 1400 metres and has finished in the top three at six of his 12 starts at Wagga.
Cream Rises finished second behind Winning Point at his next start at the Sapphire Coast last Sunday.
Banger took out the Rodney Parsons last year and is well weighted on Thursday with two kilograms above the minimum of 55 kilograms.