Owner of Rocky's greatest horse tells of his pride
RACING: It is clear Our Boy Malachi hasn't forgotten his country roots.
Away from the track, the gelding they still call the Rocky Rocket remains as relaxed as ever, blissfully unaware of his all-conquering racing abilities.
Co-owner Ross Donovan says he is the most well-behaved animal he has seen and the "biggest sook".
"He is the most gentle animal you'd ever see," Donovan said.
"Just so easy to do anything with, after he has raced he just has a chew on his loose and that's it.
"If we come to the door he looks at us, eats his food and wanders over. He is just a quiet, wonderful horse.
"I was talking to his co-trainer Claire Hawkes and she said Sydney try to claim him, they think they own him. But he is not theirs, he is Rockhamptons."
Though he came to own Our Boy Malachi via tragic circumstances, Donovan says it is an "honour" to own him.
"My brother Col bred him, I had a very small share to start with and when we lost Col to cancer two years ago, I took over the horse," he told The Morning Bulletin.
"It's not hard (doing it without Col). We were both always involved in horses and it was his wish for me to take from him and it is an honour.
"It is all pretty exciting. Fortunately I race it with Col's wife Katrina and his daughter Jess, so we keep it in the family."
Last month the eight-year-old made his first foray into Melbourne with a winning run in a last to first effort at the $200,000 Group II Caulfield Sprint.
Next he will line up in the Group I Darley Classic on Saturday looking to add to his 19 wins from 26 starts.
Donovan said without a shadow of a doubt, he is the best horse to come out of Rockhampton.
"They quoted him on Saturday that he was the best old horse getting around, he is definitely the best old sprinter," he said.
"That race in Melbourne the other day was his best yet. It was amazing.
"He had never been on the track before, and he was phenomenal."
Co-trainer Wayne Hawkes said it took a special horse to do what he did at Caulfield.
"An eight-year-old gelding to come to Melbourne for the first time and do that, that's fantastic," Hawkes said.
"I didn't think they were going that hard in front but for him to sit off them and do that was something a bit special.
"It takes something to get me up on my feet but he did, he's a fabulous horse."
Donovan had the chance to race Our Boy Malachi in last month's Manikato Stakes Sprint but pulled out.
"I think I made a mistake," Donovan admitted.
"I didn't want him racing against Chautauqua. But he probably would have won. Buffering did no good.
"But he will race on November 5. Then we will send him straight to the paddock and prime him for the winter carnival."