Like a fine red wine, Rock Magic just gets better with age.
The remarkable nine-year-old again proved why he is one of WA’s best active sprinters after smashing the track record in his Group 3 Northam Stakes (1100m) victory yesterday.
Despite being off the scene for 12 months with a knee injury and racing wide throughout yesterday, Rock Magic ($2.45 favourite) made a sustained run in the straight to beat Electric Light ($6.50) by a neck.
He slashed 1.04sec. off Power Princess’ record set in 2011. His stablemate Durendal ($12) was a close third.
Relief was the overwhelming emotion for trainer Chris Gangemi, who admitted he felt sick all week in the lead-up to Rock Magic’s return.
“As much as I should have been happy if he just ran a good race, I really wanted him to win,” Gangemi said.
“We’ll help him get over the run and as long as he recovers in the next few days, he’ll be fitter and better for the Roma Cup.
“He’s a freak. I’m sure we’ll never have another one as good.
“We might have a horse win bigger races. If this bloke doesn’t win a Group 1 hopefully we have another one that does, but we’ll never have another one as good for so long.”
Rock Magic will chase his third consecutive Roma Cup (1200m) at Ascot on Saturday week.
The Redoute’s Choice gelding improved his record to 16 wins from 49 starts and more than $1.4 million in earnings.
He also gave Gangemi and jockey Jarrad Noske consecutive wins in the Northam Stakes after Battle Hero won last year.
“I got goosebumps going past them,” Noske said.
“I was pretty happy there (out wide). I thought The Celt was going to cross me and I didn’t want that, so I was just happy to be out of trouble.
“He doesn’t know he’s nine. He’s like a young horse still, so hopefully he’s still got a few wins left.”