A tough Melbourne Spring Carnival campaign has seen Rock Magic remain solid in the betting for the Group 1 $1m Crown Perth-Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot in Perth on Saturday.
Rock Magic finished third in last year’s Winterbottom Stakes after suffering a minor hoof injury only days before in the lead and Perth trainer Chris Gangemi is looking for another top performance from the evergreen eight year old.
Early betting for the Winterbottom Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au has Rock Magic marked at $6 behind the Grant and Alana Williams trained State Solicitor at $3 and Lloyd Kennewell’s smart mare Viddora at $4.
“Most horses don’t get better at eight but he’s the fittest he’s ever been,” Gangemi told The West Australian.
“He used to just be a fresh horse but he comes through every run super now.
“After every run in Melbourne he was bouncing out of his skin.
“That was why he had all four runs. He travelled back well and I couldn’t be happier with him.”
“Hopefully nothing goes wrong in the next six days and if he gets there in good order, he’ll be a big chance.”
Rock Magic returned home to Perth winless following four runs during the Melbourne Spring Carnival and Gangemi is happy with the way the Redoute’s Choice handled the gruelling campaign and the long trip home.
Rock Magic’s first run in the Melbourne resulted in a fourth to She Will Reign in the Group 1 $500,000 Charter Keck Cramer Moir Stakes (1000m) at The Valley on September 29 followed by a third to Super Cash in the Group 2 $400,000 Keno Kwikpik Schillaci Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on October 14.
Gangemi then stepped Rock Magic back up to Group 1 company for a seventh to Hey Doc in the Group 1 $1m Ladbrokes Manikato Stakes (1200m) at The Valley on October 27 before running sixth behind Redzel in the Group 1 $1m Darley Classic (1200m) down the Flemington straight on the last day of the four day Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Regular rider Jarrad Noske missed out on the mount in the Darley Classic but is back on Rock Magic in the Winterbottom Stakes replacing Damian Oliver who is booked to ride the Lindsey Park trainer Fuhryk.
Early betting for the 2017 Winterbottom Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3 State Solicitor, $4 Viddora, $6 Rock Magic, $7.50 Santa Ana Lane, $11 Fuhryk, $15 Dainty Tess, $17 Caipirinha, $26 Durendal, Malibu Style, Profit Street, Whispering Brook, $61 Dream Lifter, $81 The River.