Col Donovan would watch the replays over and over again. Sometimes up to 20 times. Each time taking more delight with the effort of his own “Rockhampton Rocket”, Our Boy Malachi.
“He was definitely everything that brightened up his day, brightened up his life, this horse,” Col’s daughter and part-owner Jess said. “He would watch every single about 20 times over. You can’t get bored of watching them win – especially when they win like he does.”
Our Boy Malachi stepped out for the first time at Randwick on Saturday since Donovan, the central Queensland breeder, passed away in January. He would be glad to know the horse, which doesn’t know anything but how to win, is still doing exactly that.
“The deal always was we were going to keep racing him,” Jess said. “We were never going to let up on him and dad wanted him to get the best point and that’s why he is here.”
Our Boy Malachi’s incredible record stretched to a 17th win from just 19 starts in the group 3 Hall Mark Stakes.
Put simply, he does not know how to lose – whether it be in Rockhampton or his adopted home with Hawkes Racing in Sydney.
“He’s a racehorse and a winner,” co-trainer Michael Hawkes said after Our Boy Malachi wore down Craftiness to win by a length. “You don’t get a horse that has won 13 races that comes to you and is not a winner. That’s what he is.”
This latest win – and first at group level – was not all plain sailing though for Our Boy Malachi and Tommy Berry, whose ears were no doubt still ringing from the feedback he received for his navigation on favourite Chautauqua in the All Aged Stakes 40 minutes earlier.
Letting Rain Affair slide to a widening lead at the top of the straight, Berry slowly started pegging back the margin and had enough to ward off the challenge of Craftiness, which had made its run along the rail under Blake Shinn. Outsider Hidden Warrior was back in third.
“You’ll see him dip quite badly at the top of the straight,” Berry said. “He really scrambled and I thought that was the end of him. He’s such a big horse and losing that momentum I didn’t think he will be able to pick them up. I’ve only ridden him once and I like him just as much as any other horse I’ve ridden.”
Even more so if Our Boy Malachi can take all before him in the BTC Cup, Doomben 10,000 and Stradbroke Handicap when he returns north of the border for the triple group 1 mission.
“He’s pretty much going to be up against the same horses,” Berry said. “He’s going to improve as they left a lot in the tank with him. He was a bit on the fresh side today. Doomben will suit him being a shorter straight as well.”
Added Hawkes: “We didn’t have him fully wound up [on Saturday] and he’s got a long way to go. He’s a very good horse.”
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