IN HORSE racing all wins are special – and unless you are Winx or Black Caviar they don’t come along all that often.
So if your horse wins, and wins at Flemington, then it’s a big day out for everyone – owners, trainers, jockeys, strappers and the punters smart enough to back you.
At the weekend the Echuca-Moama owned and trained Rocket Tommy did it again, racking up its second win on the hallowed turf.
Rocket Tommy — the star of Gwenda Johnstone’s stable — took out his eighth career win with his 18th start.
The six year old gelding won the $100,000 Ken Cox Handicap over 1000m from Saxophone and Labuan Star.
Running with cover behind the early leader rider Jarrod Fry let Rocket Tommy go to use the huge Flemington straight to mow down the leader and hold off the challenges to win by half a length – at 11/1.
Fry has ridden all eight of the grey’s wins, having developed a good relationship with the horse.
Johnstone agreed the horse might not be doing as well if it wasn’t for Fry’s understanding of what Rocket Tommy can and cannot do.
‘‘He’s a wonderful horse,’’ she said.
‘‘He’s come through this race really strongly, he probably came through a bit strongly the past few races, so he’s had a good spell out of racing and it’s helped him to get better, you could see that in the way he ran on Saturday.’’
The second win continues to show Rocket Tommy can produce on the good tracks, something that is incredibly important to the Johnstone stable.
‘‘We honestly feel privileged,’’ she said.
‘‘To be able to go down to Flemington is very special to our team, it’s an honour to just get to race on that course.
‘‘But to have a runner who can produce there is incredible. For our stable to have wins at Flemington is something you dream about. It’s justification for all of our hard work.’’
And having Jarrod Fry on board is essential to that success.
Fry has had three rides on Johnstone horses in the past week.
But his rides on Rocket Tommy have been incredibly important to the horse’s success.
‘‘When you have a number of rides on a horse, you get to understand them better,’’ she said.
‘‘Jarrod knows exactly which lines to move, when to push the button to get him running at his best and when to attack the race.
‘‘He gets the best out of Rocket Tommy, and that’s really important for his success.’’
But this will be far from Rocket Tommy’s last trip.
In fact, according to Johnstone, he will be back in two weeks.