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Rock Magic is no stranger to running down the Flemington straight

Perth trainer Chris Gangemi says his sprinter Rock Magic is capable of one day winning a big Group One sprint.

Whether that is in Saturday’s Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington Gangemi is not so sure, but he knows he is in good form ahead of his return.

He had a break following his last-start fifth behind Viddora in the Winterbottom Stakes at Ascot in December and some solid work has Gangemi believing Rock Magic to be in the right condition before flying to Melbourne last week.

“He’s run plenty of good races first-up in Perth fresh without a trial,” Gangemi said.

“He’s done the work and should be pretty right first-up on Saturday.”

Rock Magic is no stranger to running down the straight at Flemington, finishing sixth behind Redzel in the Darley Classic last November.

Normally an advantage in most races, barrier one was a hindrance for Rock Magic and Damian Lane on that occasion with the placegetters coming down the outside rail.

“Damian said he drew the wrong side of the track because he had nothing to take him into the race after being left in front 400 metres out,” Gangemi said.

“Damian said that he might not have won, but if he had been on the right side of the track he would have been right in the finish so we’re hoping for a bit more luck on Saturday.

“The small field might help with less horses to get past.”

Gangemi says he can’t go into Saturday’s race under weight-for-age conditions feeling confident but has the belief in the horse that he’ll acquit him well.

“If he can run a place, myself and the owners would be rapt,” Gangemi said.

“In my opinion the horse can pick up a Group One at some stage.”

Following Saturday’s race Gangemi is planning to run the eight-year-old in the Newmarket Handicap on March 10 and then possibly the William Reid Stakes at Moonee Valley on March 23, both Group One races.

“We’ll see how he runs first-up on Saturday and after that we’ll see how he pulls up after each run,” he said.

Michael Dee takes the ride on Saturday.

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