The Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) on home soil in Perth still remains firmly in place for Rock Magic who is booked on a flight to Melbourne tonight.

Original plans had Rock Magic targeting the Prince Of Wales Stakes (1200m) first-up in November, en-route to the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes three weeks later.

But General Manager of Gangemi Racing, Michael Gangemi, said an eastern states ‘hit and run’ mission  proved too hard to ignore for the 10-year-old.

The Gangemi camp changed direction and adopted an alternative preparation for Rock Magic after he returned with an impressive trial win last Monday.

“He came through that trial in second gear,” Gangemi said.

“He is just a different horse this preparation.

“He deserves to mix it with the big boys again and we owe it to him to snare a Group 1

“He will have a crack at the Manikato Stakes next Friday.

“You would think it will be a lesser Group 1 with the top sprinters going to the Everest.

“He is bouncing out of his skin and we are all excited.

“We will assess after the Manikato if we have another run in Melbourne, but it might be a ‘hit and run’ mission.

“He will definitely come back for the Winterbottom Stakes at home.”

Rock Magic, now a 10-year-old, is having his second Melbourne campaign for the Gangemi’s.

Last year in the autumn he ran competitively in the elite class of Group 1 sprinters in Melbourne

He finished fourth in the Newmarket Handicap (1200m) and was fifth in the Lightning Stakes (1000m) and William Reid Stakes (1200m).

Rock Magic, a winner of $1.3 million in stake earnings, has not raced since a third to Valour Road in the Listed Beaufine Stakes (100m) in June.

Meanwhile Gangemi says he is confident Samizdat can rebound strongly in the Group 3 Northerly Stakes (1400m) at Ascot on Saturday.

The highly talented four-year-old pulled up sore after his sixth to Man Booker in last fortnight’s Listed Belmont Stakes (1200m) at Belmont.

Samizdat has drawn 10 for Jarrad Noske.

“I’m really excited,” Gangemi.

“We will ride him back and let him hit the line.”

Julio Santarelli