Battle Hero Has Exceeded Expectations Says Gangemi


Trainer Chris Gangemi has earned a reputation for turning the fortunes of tried horses around.

Boosting Gangemi’s standing is Rock Magic, who despite nearing nine years of age is racing in career best form against the best sprinters in Australia.

Not quite in Rock Magic’s bracket, but following a similar path is Battle Hero. The six-year-old is proving to be a wonderful purchase for his new owners.

He was previously a member of leading owner Bob Peter’s powerful line-up until being sold for $60,000 at last year’s Perth winter sale.

After winning a Group 3 in the Roma Cup (1200m), the Listed J.C.Roberts Stakes (1800m) and Listed Lex Piper Stakes (1600m) for Grant Williams, Battle Hero switched camps and found a new home.

Under Gangemi the build-up was slow with a cameo appearance at Belmont Park last year yielding one placing from two starts.

But the new calendar year has seen a big spike in form and with a modicum of luck Battle Hero could be holding an unbeaten record this campaign.

He won the Summer Scorcher (1000m) first-up, ran second in the Scenic Blast Stakes (1200m) and dominated Sunday’s Pinjarra Classic (1300m).

With 59kg he outclassed his rivals and equalled the weight-carrying record set by multiple Group 1 hero Black Heart Bart two years ago.

Chris Gangemi said Battle Hero has been a terrific acquisition for his stable and is happy to admit the $642,550 stake earner had exceeded his expectations.

“When we bought him we didn’t think he would win every start,” Gangemi told the Sports Daily.

“I thought he could pick up a couple over the next couple of years, but he has done it pretty early.

“He’s got the owners back their money well and truly and a couple of feature races which is pretty hard to do.

“They bought in for a good price and he has repaid them very quickly.”

Gangemi said the handicapper will determine Battle Hero’s immediate future including a crack at the Bunbury Stakes in a fortnight.

“I will just wait to see what weight he gets,” Gangemi said.

“If he gets 61kg he won’t be going there.”

Gangemi said he is unsure how much further Battle Hero can progress, but believes if he continues to display resurgent form a tilt at the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes later in the year becomes a possibility.

“He definitely can be a starter, but whether he is good enough to win is another thing,” Gangemi said.

“He is winning these Listed races now with big weight.

“He would definitely be competitive.”

Julio Santarelli