Takedown won the Winterbottom Stakes in outstanding fashion and trainer Gary Moore stole the show with his exuberant post-race celebrations at Ascot last weekend.
But the honour for guts and determination went to the Chris Gangemi-trained Rock Magic who literally climbed off the canvas to take his spot in the field.
The seven-year-old was in grave danger of missing WA racing’s premier sprint race for the second year running after he copped a nasty leg injury.
The son of Redoute’s Choice quartered his near fore heel and had to survive and pass a vet inspection just 24 hours before the Group 1 feature.
But Rock Magic bravely cast aside the set back and led the local brigade behind Takedown and Sheidel when he stormed home for third.
It left Gangemi in awe of Rock Magic, the stables flagbearer since he transferred to Perth from Paul Messara in Scone over two years ago.
“It was a big team effort to get him there, but to be honest the majority was the horse,” Gangemi said on TABradio’s The Sports Daily.
“We didn’t even have him 100 per cent on race day, but he still put in big time and ran a huge race for us.
“He had a terrible two weeks leading into the race and I didn’t think he would get there to be honest.
“And then when he got to the race I didn’t think he would go any good so he deserves all the credit in the world.
“To still run like he did under the conditions showed a lot of heart and he has gone on to another level.”
Rock Magic ends his campaign and calendar year with two wins and five placings from eight starts.
Major wins included the Group 3 Prince Of Wales Stakes (1000m) and the Listed Idyllic Prince Stakes (1300m).
Gangemi said Rock Magic is likely to be a player in next year’s Melbourne autumn carnival.
“He is going to need three or four weeks in the paddock to get that heel right, so he won’t run in the Scahill Stakes,” Gangemi said.
“There are not a lot of races for him in Perth until next year’s carnival to be honest with perhaps only the Roma Cup in the next 12-months.
“We may look at going over east with him, but we are not exactly sure and pinpointed the races.
“Melbourne looks a better option and the preferred option and we will see if there are suitable races.
“Jarrad (Noske) seems to think he would be pretty suited down the straight at Flemington the way he travels in a race.”
RWWA: Julio Santarelli