Rocket Tommy right for Flemington launch

Country-trained Rocket Tommy makes his return following a spell at a city track where he is unbeaten.

Rocket Tommy runs in the VRC Member Charles White Handicap (1000m) at Flemington on Saturday having won his two previous outings on the straight course.

He was successful over 1100m in January and returned to win over 1000m in March.

He was sent for a break after running last at his first attempt in stakes company at Caulfield in April.

Mick Johnstone, husband and stable spokesman for Echuca-based trainer Gwenda Johnstone, said Rocket Tommy had excuses for his performance that day.

“A horse kicked the back of the stalls and he dove forward and hit his head,” Johnstone said.

“He had blood from the sinuses and that’s why he didn’t keep going.

“They checked him out and called it trauma. He wasn’t classed as a bleeder because of that.”

Relaxing in the paddock got Rocket Tommy over his trauma and Johnstone said the gelding enjoys the country lifestyle from his large day yard where he overlooks a swamp and enjoys watching the birds.

Johnstone said Saturday’s race was an ideal starting point before Rocket Tommy steps up to stakes races.

Rocket Tommy’s next start is expected to be the Group Three Heath Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on September 2 before the Group Two Bobbie Lewis Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield two weeks later.

“We’ll throw him in the deep end at Caulfield and then up the straight again at Flemington,” Johnstone said.

“He’s won seven from 14 and anyone else would do the same thing so we’ll give him the two runs in Group races and see what happens.”

Johnstone says Rocket Tommy has done plenty of work in preparation for his return including a gallop between races on his home track last month.

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