He might be a 10-year-old in the twilight of his career, but there is more racing to come from Rock Magic, according to managing owner, Michael Gangemi.
The durable Redoute’s Choice gelding was no match for Hey Doc in the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) on Saturday, but he lost no admirers in defeat.
Along with runner-up Vital Silver, Rock Magic was the best of the locals when he finished third, the exact same placing he filled behind Takedown three years ago.
Gangemi said Rock Magic, trained by his brother, Chris, was going as well as he ever has throughout his 54 start career.
“We just couldn’t be prouder of a 10-year-old to put in a performance like that,” Gangemi said on Tabradio.
“He keeps coming to the races and keeps trying his guts out. He just loves it and we’re so proud of the horse and the whole team at home.
“I don’t think it was far off his best and he has now run third in two Winterbottom’s. That was just as good against a quality field.
“He is definitely not done with yet, he talks to us this horse and we know him inside out, he is like part of the family.
“The day he gets beat in a track gallop is the day we might hang the boots up. He is still so competitive.
“As you can see on Saturday he is still racing in the elite company and being very competitive.”
Rock Magic was sent out at double figure odds in the Winterbottom Stakes and rebounded superably.
Punters lost faith after he finished last in the Group 1 VRC Classic (1200m) at Flemington, a run totally out of character.
That poor showing followed a top effort in the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley when fourth to Loving Gabby.
Gangemi said the stable was always confident Rock Magic would bounce back in the Winterbottom Stakes.
“We’re not used to seeing him put in a poor performance like he did at Flemington, so we were scratching our heads until we got back to scale and you could see his tongue folded up in the back of his throat and it was blue,” Gangemi said.
“We were really confident he would run a big race in the Winterbottom, although it was such a good field.”
Despite his rising years Gangemi believes Rock Magic still has plenty more to give.
He said plans were already underway for his next preparation.
“He will go for a well-deserved spell,” Gangemi said.
“He will tell us, but we will definitely bring him back, he just loves racing.
“I dare say he will definitely be coming back for hopefully the Roma Cup (1200m).”
The Group 3 Roma Cup (1200m), Perth’s best winter sprint race, is run at Ascot next May.