THE wait is over and Echuca-trained Rocket Tommy will be back on the track at Flemington tomorrow.
But his fans will still have to wait for the last race on Saturday’s card to see Mick and Gwenda Johnstone’s super grey run in what they are hoping will be the first step towards some listed races for their sprint specialist at Caulfield and Flemington next month.
‘‘It’s pretty exciting to get back down to Melbourne,’’ Mick said. ‘‘It’s not often you get a horse good enough to compete down there; and we found a good one in Rocket Tommy. He’s got a long preparation ahead of him and will only improve from this race.’’
He has drawn barrier 10 in race nine tomorrow and Johnstone said it suited him well.
‘‘He’ll be able to get a good jump out and then can decide whether to go up the inside or outside or down the middle,’’ he said.
‘‘If he races in a normal manner we’re expecting him to be up around first or second and hopefully be in front at the finish.’’
He finished first in his previous two starts at Flemington before coming last at Caulfield in April.
Each time he was ridden by Jarrod Fry, but a fall at Echuca last month left the jockey with a broken wrist and unable to ride this weekend.
Star jockey Damien Oliver will ride Rocket Tommy tomorrow for the first time and Johnstone said how they go together tomorrow would determine if Oliver rides him again in September.
‘‘(Rocket Tommy) goes around Caulfield on September 2 and then around at Flemington again two weeks after that,’’ he said. ‘‘Both races are just as important and this first one (tomorrow) will be good to see him get back and produce what we know he can.
‘‘He’s got a two-week break between each race and the run (tomorrow) should bring him right on.
‘‘We’re chucking him in the deep end with two group threes, but we’ll see how he measures up.’’