Rock Royalty wins Ramornie Handicap 2015, smashes record

In-form Queensland sprinter Rock Royalty has taken out the Listed Ramornie Handicap at Grafton and smashed the clock in doing so.

The Liam Birchley-trained Rock Royalty’s winning time of 1:07.87 in Wednesday’s 1200m country sprint broke the track record of 1:08.02 set in 2008 by The Jackal.

Rock Royalty ($14) was taken across from a wide gate by Chris Whiteley to sit on the back of fellow Queenslander Rocket to Glory before kicking clear at the 200m.

From there the six-year-old gelding was never headed and won by 1-1/2 lengths from Godolphin entrant Barbed ($8), with Rocket to Glory ($10) a further 1-1/4 lengths away in third.

Birchley was ecstatic to have claimed the Grafton feature, proclaiming Rock Royalty to be a “progressive near-seven-year-old.”

“It really is (great to win this race), I brought Sir Breakfast here a few years ago and he got the job done,” Birchley said.

“I haven’t had many runners in it for a while and I really thought I was up against it from the gate today.

“Barriers here … they don’t usually win from out there. Takeover Target did and I wouldn’t put him (Rock Royalty) in that class.”

It’s Rock Royalty’s second track record of late.

He beat subsequent Brisbane winner Hidden Pearl two starts ago to win an 1100m Class Six at Ipswich in a time of 1:02.49.

“He’s racing so full of confidence at the moment,” Birchley said.

“He ran a track record (at Ipswich), he actually beat a horse that has won well since.”

Earlier on Winona Costin produced a patient ride aboard the Greg Hickman-trained Braces ($9) to take out the Grafton Guineas (1600m) in a blanket finish that was also a track record (1:34.01).

Costin kept the horse coddled up on the inside before getting a split and driving to the line in a perfectly timed run, to win by a short neck from Chrysolaus ($8) with Spinning Dawn ($26) a half head behind in third.

The 1600m track record at Grafton had stood since July 1997 and was previously owned by Dancing Sun.

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