Rock Leads Magic Trifecta


Coming into Saturday’s Group 3 Roma Cup (1200m), trainer Chris Gangemi had three outstanding chances of winning the race for a second time.

A race in which their grand-father was instrumental in introducing, winning the race last year with Rock Magic meant a lot to Gangemi.

Today, not only did Gangemi’s Rock Magic become the seventh dual winner of the $150,000 event, his other two runners in the race Battle Hero and Durendal finished second and third respectively, sparking wild celebrations in the mounting yard post race among the big group of owners of the three horses.

After a three run campaign during the Melbourne autumn, which included a fourth to Redkirk Warrior in the Newmarket Handicap, Rock Magic was sent out a $2.15 favourite with William Pike aboard.

Battle Hero and Durendal were also supported in the market after finishing first and second in the Northam Stakes on May 6.

Railway Stakes winner Great Shot led throughout the 1200m event, with Battle Hero up on the speed as well.

The speed up front allowed Rock Magic to settle in the perfect spot in fourth spot during the run.

Pike, who had four winners on the day, sent the rising nine-year-old to the front at the 250m and he was able to cruise to a comprehensive three length win.

Battle Hero battled on gamely to run second, while Durendal also made up late ground to run third.

Gatting showed significant improvement from his first-up run to run fourth, with Great Shot battling on to run fifth.

An emotional Gangemi said he knew he had the right horses to win the race, but admitted running the trifecta was a surprise.

“We obviously had three good chances coming into it, and we set them all for the race a couple of months ago,” he said.

“It’s very rare that you pull something like this off.

“To get the job done, I’m sure nonno, dad and the whole family will be very proud.

“We tried to win it with Werd a few times, and he wasn’t far away and ever since then we have wanted to win the race desperately.”

Gangemi said Rock Magic was getting better with age, and would likely head towards the Belmont Sprint on June 2, before another east coast foray.

He also confirmed Battle Hero would head to the Belmont Sprint, while Durendal would be kept for the Beaufine Stakes (1000m) also next month.

Tim Walker 




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