By Christine Williams
The dizzy heights of NSW country’s richest race, The Kosciuszko, is a far cry from mucking out stables at Harden, but for trainer Scott Spackman the pinnacle is a realistic goal.
As a child, Spackman earnt his pocket money working for his father and trainer Bill, in Harden which has a population of 2000 and one race meeting each year – the annual picnic meeting every Cox Plate Day.
Now with a boutique stable based in Wagga Wagga, Spackman celebrated his greatest achievement when O’ So Hazy finished third in this year’s Country Championship Final.
His stable star rounded off her autumn campaign when she finished strongly for fourth in the Wagga Town Plate (1200m) in May.
Spackman is aiming for greater heights this spring, and O’ So Hazy will kick off her ambitious The Kosciuszko campaign in the Riverina Crane Services Ian Reid Sprint (1200m) at the Murrumbidgee Turf Club (MTC) today.
O’ So Hazy put racegoers on notice she was ready for her next campaign with a commanding win in a recent jump-out and according to Spackman her trackwork is spot on.
“She worked the house down last week and I can’t wait for her to step out in the Ian Reid Sprint,” Spackman said.
Unlike many other Kosciuszko-bound horses, Spackman is content for his ‘Annie’ (stable name) to resume on her home track first up and then hit the metropolitan stage.
“I think the Ian Reid Sprint is a prestige race and it is tough to win at Wagga plus we might as well walk across the road. Also, she has an impeccable record at the track (four wins from five starts),” said Spackman.
After today’s Wagga meeting, Spackman will step O’ So Hazy up to compete in city company.
“We will probably look at going to Melbourne or Canterbury – there are a couple of nice races coming up for her and if The Kosciuszko doesn’t come off we will revisit things and look at fillies and mares races over the Flemington carnival and try to win some black type,” Spackman said.
O’ So Hazy will be crowned 2017-18 Wagga Horse of the Year at an MTC function on September 7 while her stablemate Takookacod will be awarded the club’s best three-year-old.