Rocket Man confirmed himself as the best Australian bred sprinter on the international circuit with a stunning win in the US$2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen (1200m) at Meydan.
The best horse ever to race in Singapore, Rocket Man sat on the outside of American speedstar Euroears throughout, before unleashing a paralysing burst of speed over the final 200 metres to race clear for a two and a quarter length win.
The win helped erase memories of last year’s Golden Shaheen when the star Viscount gelding was narrowly and unluckily beaten.
This time around nothing was going to stop the mighty Rocket Man from confirmed his status as one of the world’s best.
Rocket Man was selected and purchased as a yearling for $60,000 from the 2007 Magic Millions National Yearling Sale.
He was offered for sale by Tyreel Thoroughbred Stud and purchased by Andy Williams’ World Wide Bloodstock.
Rocket Man is raced by South African based businessman Fred Crabbia and trained by master horseman Patrick Shaw.
“I was confident all week because I have never had him better,” Shaw said.
“Winning on an international stage like Dubai is very special. I don’t know where we go next with Rocket Man.”
“Royal Ascot want him in the summer. But so do the Australians to take on Black Caviar – so we’ll see,” Shaw added.
Champion international jockey Felix Coetzee has ridden many great racehorses over the years and he couldn’t speak more highly of Rocket Man.
“I got a great start and I took him back to give Euroears the lead and tracked him,” Coetzee commented.
“I saw Mike Smith go for his horse and when I picked up Rocket Man he responded. He is so gutsy.”
“It was a great feeling – like being in a top sports car – he was flying!”
“This is the most tenacious horse I’ve ever ridden. He’s a super horse.”
Magic Millions Acting Managing Director David Chester said the win of Rocket Man was a great result for Australia.
“Rocket Man is the best possible advertisement for Australia. Bred here, by a Western Australian based sire – who raced with great success in Australia – he was bred in New South Wales and sold in Queensland.”
“Over recent seasons Rocket Man has proved himself as one of the world’s great racehorses – and he’s doing it on the tough international circuit.”
“Some horses can dominate in their regions – but it’s when these horses step out of their comfort zone that their true champion qualities are seen.”
“Congratulations to our South African agent Andy Williams who purchased Rocket Man as a yearling as well as his owner Fred Crabbia and trainer Pat Shaw.”
“Rocket Man was purchased from our National Yearling Sale and this year’s edition of the sale in June will boasts its best ever catalogue,” Chester summed up.
A half brother to the South African Group One winner Our Giant, Rocket Man has won 14 races from 18 starts – he was second at other four and has never been beaten further than a long neck.
The $60,000 purchase has now won the equivalent of A$3.76 million.
Australian bred Magic Millions graduates went close to claiming the big sprint double when evergreen performer War Artist beat all but JJ The Jet Place in the Group Two US$1 million Al Quoz Sprint.
A mere head separated the duo in a busy finish.
War Artist was a $57,500 again for Andy Williams’ World Wide Bloodstock operation at the 2005 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale.
Winner: Rocket Man (Viscount-Macrosa)
Race: Dubai RC Golden Shaheen G1 (1200m)
Sold for: $60,000
Sale: 2007 Magic Millions National Yearling Sale
Vendor: Tyreel Thoroughbred Stud
Buyer: World Wide Bloodstock
Owner(s): Fred Crabbia
Trainer: Patrick Shaw (Kranji)
Photos by Andrew Watkins – courtesy of Dubai Racing Club.