FOLLOWING his first career triumph as a licensed conditioner on Saturday, May 20, 2023 with Sniper Man, Michael Spencer thinks the sweet taste of accomplishment will only serve as inspiration to achieve more.
Sniper Man, ridden by Paul Francis, won a three-year-old and upwards Optional Claiming ($400,000-$300,000) spread that also included six-year-olds and upwards (non-winners of four) and imported six-year-olds and upwards (non-winners of three) over five furlongs (1,000m) round by a half-length at the wire.
Spencer, who graduated from the 2023 Jamaica Racing Commission's (JRC) Trainers' Training Programme on May 12, said he was overjoyed with his first winner from his first start.
"I'm feeling fantastic. I mean, I'm quite delighted to have had a wonderful start as a trainer after graduating. I was my dream to become a trainer and winning races every month of the year," Spencer said in his first post-race interview.
"Now that I've won my first race, my plan is to keep going for more victories.
"I enjoy the feeling of winning races so expect many more from me. I'm excited and happy," Spencer, who presently cares for seven horses, said.
Sniper Man was third going into the half-mile (800m) turn, trailing Danny Spud (Anthony Thomas) and Manaco (Tevin Foster). Sniper Man continued to battle behind the leaders when they entered the lane but came out on top with a strong finish near the end of the race. In a time of 1:04.3 Sniper Man defeated Manaco and Buzz Assault (Odeen Edwards).
"My father was a true racehorse turfite, and I used to sit and watch him with his race program, noting the horses. One day, I went to the racetrack with him and fell in love with the horses. That was in 1984, and horses continue to fascinate me," Spencer remarked.
Spencer went on to say, "I always watched the horses perform, and I was always curious to see what makes them move; what gives them so much power; and so I said I wanted to learn everything about them. That's when I decided to join the game and learn more about horses."