It’s reaching an inevitable end, but it won’t lessen the emotional impact for co-trainers Chris and Michael Gangemi.
Reality is starting to bite for the brothers and the realisation is sinking in that Rock Magic’s remarkable racing career is drawing to a close.
A stable pin-up for the stable, a $1.6 million prize earner, a nine-time stakes winner and dual Group 1 place getter, Rock Magic bows out of racing soon.
In what is his final campaign of racing, Rock Magic lines up for start 61 against a hot field of sprinters in the Listed Furphy Crawford Stakes (1000m).
What follows is the Prince Of Wales Stakes (1000m) and potentially a fairy tale ending in the Group 1 Winterbottom (1200m) in November.
“I honestly don’t know whether to cry or laugh,” Michael Gangemi told The Races WA.
“This is his final campaign and it’s starting to get real that the end is near.
“Everyone knows how much he means to us, the owners and everyone connected to the stable.
“He’s an absolute freak to be still competing at this level.
“He never ceases to amaze me and still has a zest and appetite for racing.
“He’s the highest rated sprinter in Perth at 12-years-old.
“He never lets us down and tries his heart out every time.
“He’s just an unbelievable horse.”
Rock Magic will jump from barrier four and has 55kg in the Crawford Stakes, his lowest allocated weight in nearly four years.
The son of Redoute’s Choice last raced in May and warmed up for his return with a solid trial behind Plutocracy.
“He is going super; his work has been very good and has been all the way.
“We’ve added the blinkers, twice before he ran 3rd in the Winterbottom and second in the Northam Stakes with them.
“He gets a good gate and is on the minimum weight.
“This is the race we’ve targeted.”
Rock Magic, to be ridden by Clint Johnston-Porter, is rated $12 by Tabtouch.
Meanwhile Gangemi is confident Massimo will be at his top as he strives to go one better in the Group 3 Crown Perth Northerly Stakes (1400m).
The five-year-old finished a close second to Uni Time in the Birthday Stakes (1200m) after going into the Listed race under an injury cloud.
“He was recovering from an abscess and hence the reason he wore the bar shoes,” Gangemi said.
“Under the circumstances, I was thrilled with his run and he’ll take improvement from that.
“I was really proud of the effort and thought it was a gutsy performance.”
Massimo ran third to Taxagano in last year’s Northerly Stakes when trained by Adam Durrant.
He has drawn barrier 13 in Saturday’s Northerly Stakes, the widest gate. Clint Johnston-Porter has the mount.
“He’ll roll forward and sit outside of the leader or lead if he has to,” Gangemi said.
“It’s either that or get caught wide in running.
“He’s in great nick and even better suited at Ascot.”
At $6, Massimo is currently second favourite behind Western Empire $2.75.