Sunday’s Mazda Northam Stakes shapes as one of the races of the Perth year.
With the likes Valour Road, Flirtini, Cup Night, Rock Magic, River Beau, Gemma’s Son and Free Trade, the Group 3 event should be a cracking and frenetic race.
The $150,000 Northam Mazda Stakes (1100m) could also signal the end of Rock Magic’s remarkable and durable career.
As an 11-year-old, the end is closer than the beginning but co-trainers Chris and Michael Gangemi are hoping their stable flag-bearer can lift for at least another two occasions: the Northam Stakes and the Roma Cup (1200m), a race he’s won twice.
Rock Magic finished his last campaign with a third to Elite Street in the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) and has looked on track for his return with two sound warm up trials in March and April.
“He wouldn’t be going around if he wasn’t fine,” Michael Gangemi told The Races WA.
“This horse will tell us when he has had enough.
“He’s been in the camp nearly eight years, so we know him inside out.
“He’ll tell us when he’s had enough, but at the moment he shows no slowing down.
“He’s a freak and the work behind the scenes tells us he still has the appetite and hunger for racing.“If he does well in the Northam Stakes we would have to look at the Roma Cup.
“If he can draw a nice gate in the Northam Stakes they will know he is there.”
Meanwhile Gangemi is optimistic stable mate Condor Heroes can reproduce his best form after he was plagued by feet issues when last in work.
The former eastern states galloper made a splash in Perth with successive wins at Ascot last year but was well beaten in the final two races of his campaign.
He ran eighth in the Group 3 Colonel Reeves Stakes (1100m) and followed up with a last behind Elite Street in the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m).
However, after displaying his customary gate speed to lead and win heat four of Monday’s Belmont trials, Gangemi’s confidence in the Not A Single Doubt gelding is restored.
“He’s only got one speed and it’s flat out,” Gangemi said.
“He’s got the motor to back it up in the straight.
“We got out of it what we wanted which was a bit of fitness and he’s ready to go.
“He’ll start off in a couple of ratings races.
“We had a throw at the big ones’ last year, but he wasn’t 100 per cent right with his feet.
“We’ve done a lot of work this preparation with his feet.
“We built a new yard and a different surface for his feet.
“They’re holding up well and he’s definitely the soundest since we’ve had him in the west.
“We’re excited by the prep ahead and those ratings races head towards the Beaufine.”
The Beaufine Sprint, run at Listed level over 1000m, is staged at Belmont on July 10.