Scott Spackman’s Tiger ready to roar in Wagga Town Plate

A win in the $200,000 Wagga Town Plate would mean the world to local trainer Scott Spackman, especially if he could pull it off with former smart two-year-old Rocket Tiger.

The gelding has taken Spackman on an incredible journey, placing in the 2021 Silver Slipper and Black Opal Stakes before a fractured shoulder suffered in a paddock accident interrupted his career for almost two years.

When Rocket Tiger returned in January, Spackman was optimistic he was back near his best, only to be dealt another blow when the horse was “pole-axed” first-up at Randwick, his confidence also taking a battering.

Five runs and a few testing experiences later, Rocket Tiger heads to Thursday’s Wagga Town Plate (1200m) as a $9.50 chance after returning to form with a slashing last-start win at his home track that has put a spring in the step of horse and trainer.

“I didn’t think it was going to happen, I was getting a bit worried,” Spackman said.

“His confidence was shot and his trainer was lacking confidence too.

“Seeing him let go and do that, which I knew he could do but it was trying to convince everybody else he could do it, it was just an absolute relief and proof that he could do it.

“He’s got his swagger back.”

Rocket Tiger has drawn ideally in barrier three for the Town Plate and has regular rider Shaun Guymer in the saddle.

While Spackman acknowledges he faces some tough opposition, especially from last year’s winner and race favourite Front Page, he is adamant the four-year-old is up to the challenge.

Spackman has had a handful of runners in the feature sprint, his best result a fourth with O’ So Hazy in 2015 and regards Rocket Tiger as a genuine chance.

“This is fair dinkum, by a country mile, my best chance ever,” he said.

“It’s our grand final. I’m only a small trainer in Wagga and he’s been my stalwart so to get him back after his injuries, it’s massive.

“There will be no excuses my end. We should get a nice cart into it….and hopefully you see the real Rocket Tiger let go and let rip past them. I can’t wait.”

Spackman will have five runners over the two-day carnival, including Rocket Tiger’s sister Smokin’ Cod in the Queen Of The South (1400m) on Friday.

About RS NewsWire

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