Rock Royalty produced the best performance of his racing career to date to take out the 2015 Ramornie Handicap in impressive fashion at Grafton this afternoon.
Rock Royalty was having his first race start at black type level in the Ramornie Handicap and he was settled in a lovely position by jockey Chris Whiteley in the early stages of the race, while pre-race favourite I’ve Got The Looks was caught three wide throughout.
Barbed took up the running at the 250 metre mark and looked like he was going to be tough to beat, but Rock Royalty was far too strong in the final stages and ran away from his rival to record the biggest win of his racing career to date in the Ramornie Handicap.
Liam Birchley has been a regular visitor to the Grafton Racing Carnival for many years and he was clearly delighted to win the Ramornie Handicap for the second time with a horse that he described as the first progressive seven-year-old that he has ever trained.
“I brought Sir Breakfast here a few years ago and he got the job done, but I haven’t had a lot of runners in it since,” Birchley said.
“I really thought I was up against it from the barrier here today.
“He is a progressive nearly seven-year-old and I don’t have many of them – I’ve never had one of them.
“It is amazing how he has kept improving and I can’t believe the way that he is doing it.
“He has just been an amazing horse and he is just racing so full of confidence at the moment.
“The form was good, but that don’t usually win from there – Takeover Target did, but I wouldn’t put him in that class.”
Rock Royalty made his racing debut with a second place finish at Eagle Farm in February of 2012, but he was having just his 17th race start in the Ramornie Handicap this afternoon.
The Elusive City gelding has been a consistent performer during his racing career and he earnt an opportunity in the Ramornie Handicap after he took out the Mount Franklin Handicap (1200m) at Doomben on April 18 and the Ipswich Dash on Ipswich Cup Day on June 23.
Godolphin sprinter Barbed returned to his best form and was gallant in second place, while I’ve Got The Looks was never able to get into the race and missed the placings.