Spackman Trio To Canberra

By Jared Dorrington

Goulburn based trainer Graeme Spackman will take a three horse team to Canberra tomorrow and is expecting strong showings from at least two of them. Spackman has high hopes for Murials Spirit and Via Facile who will both be racing fourth-up at Thoroughbred Park.

Six-year-old Murials Spirit will contest the opening race of the Canberra meeting – a Benchmark 65 Handicap (1206m).

The Invincible Spirit mare finished 1½-lengths off the winner in the same class of race last start in Canberra, and the three gallopers that beat her that day will not be racing on Friday. “I think she's in it right up to her eye balls,” Spackman said.

“I would be very surprised if she doesn't go well.

“She's a really nice type of mare - strong and ready to go well.”

Apprentice hoop Lauri Wray – who has ridden Murials Spirit in each of her three runs this campaign – has once again been engaged to ride the six-year-old, with the pair to jump from barrier-five.

Five-year-old Via Facile had no luck in his latest effort at Hawkesbury which followed a place finish at Wagga, and a first-up maiden win on the Acton Track. Friday's race will be the second time that the Street Cry gelding has raced on the synthetic track at Thoroughbred Park.

Via Facile will jump from barrier-four in Friday's Benchmark 55 Handicap (1280m) with Patrick Murphy in the saddle.

Spackman is confident his galloper will be tough to beat if things go right for him, but acknowledged that is not always the case.

“I would expect him to give us a forward showing on Friday,” said the Goulburn trainer.

“I don't like to go in too confident, but there's nothing wrong with him. He's doing everything I ask of him at the moment.”

Following a disappointing run from Layerline at Hawkesbury when resuming, Spackman is not expecting a great deal from the four-year-old despite him having won both his previous second-up runs to date.

The Stratum gelding will race in the meetings feature event, with Spackman opting to race him rather than giving him a run in a barrier trial.

“I'm not 100-percent happy with him, but I need to race him to just try and get a bit of confidence back in him because he did get smashed badly (at the start) at Hawkesbury,” said Spackman.

“I don't think he's at his best, but in saying that he's such a tough little fella that I think he'll go alright.

“If he puts his best foot forward he'll take a bit of beating but I don't think I've got him quite right yet to be honest.”