$500 in Bonus Bets
Sign-up, Join now & get your first deposit matched with up to $500 in racing bonus bets*
Deposit $250, Bet with $550
Sign-up, deposit $250 & receive $300 in racing bonus bets. That's $550 to bet with!*
$300 Matched Deposit
Sign-up and get your first deposit matched with up to $300 in racing bonus bets*
Stake Back Offer at Flemington & Randwick!
Bet Runs 2nd or 3rd at Flemington or Randwick? Get Your Stake Back!
Watch Sky Racing FREE!
Sign-Up and watch Sky Racing For Free on Your Phone!
*Conditions Apply. Excl VIC, NSW, SA & WA. Gamble Responsibly

Veteran horse trainer Reg Rowley ended his career on a high.

Changing former protege Tom’s Rocket from a nervous colt into a gentle giant still puts a smile on Rowley’s face.

However, he knew there was only so much he could do for the talented gelding.

Rowley handed Tom’s Rocket over to Sydney trainer Joe Pride in March, a move he says was for the best.

Tom’s Rocket will make a play for inclusion in next month’s Epsom Handicap field when he races in the Bill Ritchie Handicap at Rosehill on Saturday.

“I miss the horse very badly but I don’t think I could have given him the 100 per cent chance that Joe can,” Rowley says.

“It was a very hard decision but I had to think of what was best for the owner and the horse.”

He thought Pride would be the best trainer for the lightly-raced five-year-old.

“I’ve taken the rough edges off and now Joe can do the polish work,” he says.

Rowley, who owns 10 per cent of the gelding, bred him from New Zealand mare Lochella.

He knew Tom’s Rocket was going to be special, despite starting out as a nervous colt.

“When we had him broken in, I got him and couldn’t believe he was so frightened,” Rowley says.

He says the big horse was easily spooked and needed a lot of patience and reassurance while training.

“There has been a long and careful preparation with him,” Rowley says.

“But I believed in the horse from what he showed me straight away.”

So, he persevered and was rewarded with third place on the horse’s first run.

“He’s now a lovely, big gentle giant,” Rowley says.

“I knew if we pushed him, he would have ended up a ratbag and he wouldn’t be racing today.”

With his Port Macquarie stables empty after handing over Tom’s Rocket, Rowley retired.

The 63-year-old has moved back to Sydney to be closer to his family and seven grandchildren.

Rowley still talks to Pride about Tom’s Rocket every week and says the horse will always be one of the family.

“He’s (Tom) still my mate, win, lose or draw,” Rowley says


  • 400% BONUS at Ladbrokes Sign-up at Ladbrokes via this ad and Deposit $50 and start BETTING with $250! HURRY! Offer ends this week!
  • BET NOW!
Featured News

Over $5,000 in Free Racing Bonus Bets

Just Horse Racing provides readers with a Free list of the best Bonus Bet offers available at every online bookmaker...

Big Bets – 25/5/2019

We take a look at the big bets the online bookmakers have taken on the weekends horse racing around the...

Damion Flower stood down in Victoria and NSW

Victorian authorities will follow Racing NSW in standing down owner Damion Flower who is facing serious drug charges. Flower, 47,...

Potential staying star who was rejected by his mum

Yesterday at Gawler, a 3YO sprouted wings in the straight to race away and win like a horse going places....

Prominent horse owner Damion Flower arrested on drug charges

High-profile Australian racehorse owner Damion Flower will remain behind bars for at least a week after being charged over his...

Ben Currie guilty of another 12 charges

Toowoomba trainer Ben Currie has been found guilty of a further 12 charges, this time, of race day administration and...

G1 winning trainer guilty of cobalt charges

Trainer Ben Smith has been found guilty of all charges against him relating to elevated cobalt levels, race day treatments...

Watch: A star is born at Wyong

You will be hard pressed to find a better debut win from a horse at Wyong today. Exceedance a two-year-old...

Copyright © 2019 Just Horse Racing.
All rights reserved - Privacy Policy

Gamble Responsibly 18+
*State exclusions apply to some offers. Please check T&Cs of each offer with the bookmaker. All Offers Exclude NSW residents.