Our Boy Malachi sizzles in Sydney as Rocky fans cheer him on
THE words from Tex Morton's Australian song of the year in 1974 - The Goondiwindi Grey - could easily have been transcribed last Saturday to honour Rockhampton's own champion racehorse Our Boy Malachi.
Contesting his first Sydney race under the training banner of Team Hawkes, the glistening chestnut son of Top Echelon and Rusticate, did his myriad supporters proud with a resplendent win.
Ridden by Sydney's Jay Ford of Takeover Target international fame, Our Boy Malachi ($1.80 favourite) lay in wait in second placing before surging to challenge the race leader from the 200 metres.
A short-lived dog fight ensued for about 75 metres before the Rockhampton star dashed away brilliantly to win by 1.3 lengths.
Thus the Flying Handicap (1100m) at Sydney's Rosehill Gardens was rightfully his, taking Our Boy Malachi's exceptional record to 16 starts for 14 wins and a second placing for $263,200.
While his winning time of 1min 03.50 seconds was scintillating, his sectional time for the last 600 metres of the race at 32.85 seconds was even more amazing.
In fact that sectional was faster by almost two seconds than any of the other seven race Rosehill winners.
Naturally, managing part-owner Col Donovan was on hand with Malachi's ecstatic former trainer John O'Sing, who the owner had generously "shouted" the Sydney trip.
Overcome by his dream Sydney win, having just unfolded before his eyes and at the same time not fully recovered form the effects of a recent operation, Donovan let O'Sing take centre stage.
O'Sing rightfully so declared Our Boy Malachi "bombproof" to the media who realised they had just witnessed a fine talent.
Meanwhile, minutes earlier at Yeppoon's Keppel Park racecourse 1454km north of Rosehill Garden, jockeys, officials and racegoers crowded around TV sets to watch the race.
One of those was none other than Rockhampton's Adrian Coome who had ridden Our Boy Malachi 13 times for 12 wins, including 10 in succession.
As the crowd around him erupted with cheers, Coome who has a quiet demeanour, smiled broadly and said quietly "you little beauty".
Coome admitted it was strange to be watching rather than riding Our Boy Malachi but he accepted that would be the case for now.
"Naturally, I would have loved to have been on him but the Hawkes told Col and the other owners that they wanted their own jockeys on him (Our Boy Malachi). It was pretty exciting to watch - good to see as I always knew he would win down there (Sydney). I have always believed he is capable of winning a stakes race," Coome said.
As the crowds in the Keppel Park marquees began to celebrate the win, reaching to charge their champagne glasses and guzzling at beer cans to Our Boy Malachi, Coome walked back to the jockeys' room.
Some 35 minutes later he, too, was a winner on the Fred Smith-trained debutant Eljay Atom in the opening race at Keppel Park.
Who knows what lies ahead for Eljay Atom as after all, Our Boy Malachi was beaten at his first start in a humble maiden at Mackay on May 17, 2011?
Furthermore, exactly two years earlier to the day of Eljay Atom's win, on November 1, 2012, Our Boy Malachi won a lowly Class 2 race at Callaghan Park.
The frenzied feats of Our Boy Malachi are what makes horse racing - an industry built on dreams - survive because, after all, some dreams do come true.
Just ask Rockhampton's Col Donovan.