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Vale Mr Tom 'Spider' Barker

Racing NSW has been informed of the overnight passing of Mr Tom Barker.

Affectionately known as ‘Spider’, Mr Barker was foreman at Travel Boy Lodge (Randwick) when Kingston Town was one of Tommy Smith's residing superstars.

TJ Smith's stable foreman Tom 'Spider' Barker with champion galloper Kingston Town. Picture by John Patrick O'Gready

Mr Barker, 82, worked for TJ Smith for more than 40 years as stable foreman and tended to the great Kingston Town.

Mr Barker told journalist Andrew Webster last year: “As an early four-year-old Kingston Town developed problems with the suspensory ligaments in his forelegs.

"My job each day was to fill two 25-litre buckets with iced water and make Kingston Town stand in them for 45 minutes.

“You could do anything with him. When we walked past the big Catholic Church on Kensington Road every morning on the way to the track, and then when we walked him in the afternoon, he always stopped and looked at the church. Never missed.”

Mr Barker was the father of top jockey Noel Barker who was killed during a Randwick barrier trial in September 1992.

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