Chris Gangemi is hoping a weight swing and increased fitness can help his gelding Rock Magic turn the tables on First Among Equals in the Belmont Newmarket (1200m) at Belmont on Saturday.
Rock Magic just failed to hold out the rampaging First Among Equals in last Saturday week’s Bolton Sprint (1200m), but meets Simon Miller’s five-year-old 1 ½ kg better off at the weights.
Gangemi believes Rock Magic will be at his peak for the $100,000 Belmont Newmarket after he ran third to Military Reign when racing first-up in the Beaufine Stakes (1000m) last month.
“Hopefully with the weight swing we can turn it around on a horse that is obviously very smart,” said trainer, Chris Gangemi.
“I couldn’t be happier with my horse and with the two runs under his belt now he has to be getting close to his peak.
“He should be able to get a nice run from the gate and hopefully he can pick one up before he goes for a spell.
“He will have this one and probably one more before having a short break and coming back for the Ascot carnival.”
Rock Magic has drawn barrier two in a field of eight starters. Jarrad Noske retains the ride.
Trainer Neville Parnham will launch a three-pronged attack on the Belmont Newmarket with Bass Straight, Checkpoint and Malibu Style.
Bass Straight resumes off a lengthy spell and races first-up off two trials ahead of a Hannans Handicap campaign.
Malibu Style is looking to atone after finishing out of the placings for the first time this campaign in the Bolton Sprint.
8-year-old Checkpoint ran a credible fifth in the Bolton Sprint after going back and charging home from a wide draw.
The injury-plagued gelding has to overcome a 1320 day losing sequence, but Parnham says he can’t be dismissed.
“He is every bit as good as any other horse in this race, but he obviously has age on him now and coming back from about three major injuries,” Parnham said.
“It’s been a while since he has won a race, but he has done very little racing.
“His work on Tuesday morning was as good as I’ve seen him put up in years.
“I think he is back to where he can figure prominently in a race of this quality.”
RWWA: Julio Santarelli