Our Boy Malachi in Sydney debut on Saturday
ROCKHAMPTON racing's colossus Our Boy Malachi is to make his long-awaited Sydney racing debut on Saturday.
The winner of 13 of his 15 starts - including 10 in succession, Our Boy Malachi will run in the $85,000 Spring Flying (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens.
Now trained from there by Team Hawkes, Our Boy Malachi wrapped up his final legwork with a quality second in a barrier trial at Rosehill yesterday.
Ridden by Jay Ford standing in for his regular rider James McDonald who is in Melbourne, Our Boy Malachi pleased with a length second behind Peter Moody's Brotherly Secret over 900 metres.
With Team Hawkes spokesperson Michael Hawkes saying "races are hard to find for him at the moment", Our Boy Malachi has been thrown in the deep end so to speak on Saturday.
"He trialled well today at Rosehill and did everything right. He was not out to break any land speed records. Naturally he has come down here with a good rating and we see Saturday's race as a starting point for him," Hawkes said from Sydney late yesterday.
Hawkes said he believed Saturday was the "right time to start him (Malachi) off this preparation" while agreeing that it was a very classy race.
With a Benchmark Rating of 85, Our Boy Malachi, among others is opposed to Dances On Stars (102); Scream Machine (101); That's A Good Idea (99); Zaratone (99); and Barben (87).
According to Our Boy Malachi's managing part-owner, Rockhampton's Col Donovan, the sprinter which this year completed back-to-back Rockhampton Newmarket wins, has pleased the Hawkes camp all along.
"Michael is very positive about him after this trial (Tuesday) and his earlier one a few weeks ago.
"I just can't wait for him to run on Saturday", Donovan said.
Given the quality of Saturday's field, Our Boy Malachi has been handicapped on the minimum weight of 54kg.
Our Boy Malachi has not started since ending an outstanding association under the care of Rockhampton mentor John O'Sing when he won the Rocky Newmarket on June 19.
Another Rockhampton- owned flying machine in Flying Riddle will resume racing at Doomben in Brisbane on Saturday.
Race by a syndicate headed by Marlborough grazier Ron White, Flying Riddle has a good horse's weight of 61kg in a 1000 metres race.
A short-course specialist, the Julie Green-trained Flying Riddle, the winner of its past three starts has not started since winning over 1000 metres at Eagle Farm on August 3.
While undoubtedly the crowd will be huge at Yeppoon's Keppel Park races on Saturday, entries are light-on for the Newmarket (1300m) and Class 3 (1400m).
Nominations for that pair of events are extended until 9am today but the remaining three races have drawn 42 nominations between them.
Club president Greg Simpson said interest for the annual Derby Day races was at an "all time high".
Trainers are reminded that entries close this morning at 11am for the Melbourne Cup day races at Gladstone; Rockhampton; Longreach and Mackay.
Gladstone, which had its best meeting on record with 3000 attending last Saturday, will conduct a morning meeting on Tuesday with the first race at 10am.