Day At The Track

Cup mission for Lombo Pocket Watch

10:05 AM 15 Dec 2007 NZDT
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Lombo Pocket Watch
Lombo Pocket Watch - 2007 XXXX Gold Golden Nugget Championship
Gloucester Park

'Now for the WA Pacing Cup,' declared triumphant breeder-owner Mick Lombardo after his champion Lombo Pocket Watch had annihilated his rivals in the $175,000 XXXX Gold Golden Nugget championship at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Lombo Pocket Watch, the 3-1 on favourite, had to overcome a serious early scare before proving far too good for the opposition in the 2536m group one classic.

Reinsman Gavin Fitzpatrick admitted that he was extremely worried about 100m after the start when Lombo Pocket Watch met with severe interference and broke into a full-stretch gallop, losing about three lengths and settling down a long way from the leaders.

“He’s never galloped before and didn’t know what to do,” Fitzpatrick explained. “So I was glad when he got back into a pace pretty quickly.”

An exultant Lombardo announced after the race that Lombo Pocket Watch would be set for the $400,000 WA Pacing Cup to be run over 2536m at Gloucester Park on January 11.

Lombardo was excited and highly relieved after Lombo Pocket Watch’s superb victory. He had bred and owned the runner-up in two previous Golden Nuggets. Lombo Skyrider finished second to Tricky Vic in 2002 and Lombo La Fe Fe was beaten by Te Kanarama a year later.

Lombardo had planned to retire Lombo Pocket Watch after his great three-year-old season, and now he has no regrets about changing his mind, even though he did say that he would like the flying grey stallion to do a season at stud as well as continuing his marvellous career on the track.

Lombo Pocket Watch now has had 40 starts for 32 wins and $1,292,503 in prizemoney.

Fitzpatrick restrained Lombo Pocket Watch from the wide No. 8 barrier before the grey struck trouble on the first bend.

When Andrew De Campo crossed the polemarker Clancy The Rocket to take an early lead, Clancy The Rocket appeared to over-react and paced roughly and shifted up the track.

Mark Reed, who was dashing Village Ruler forward from the back line, shifted out slightly to avoid Clancy The Rocket. Village Ruler then locked wheels with Barjohbil, who broke into a fierce gallop and, in turn, Half A Mill, Lord Guy, Washakie, Lombo Pocket Watch and Washakie were all badly checked.

Village Ruler dashed to the front after 300m. Fitzpatrick bided his time and balanced Lombo Pocket Watch before urging the grey forward, three wide, after 650m and then moving outside the pacemaker with 1600m to travel.

Lombo Pocket Watch accelerated brilliantly to burst past Village Ruler at the 600m mark. He then raced away from his rivals and coasted to victory, to the roars from the crowd, to win by 11m from outsider Captain Jack Sparrow (who finished solidly from eighth at the bell) and Captain Bluff (who had enjoyed the perfect trail behind Village Ruler.

Village Ruler, third favourite at 9-1, faded badly to finish a distant tenth. He pulled up sore in both heels and trainer Greg Harper will send him for a spell.

Washakie, second favourite at 8-1, impressed in running home stoutly from tenth at the bell to be fifth. The WA Pacing Cup now looks to be his immediate target.

Fitzpatrick praised Lombo Pocket Watch, saying: “He was just super. He’s got everything, really --- he’s got super speed, he can stay and he can sprint. He’s the perfect racehorse and he certainly makes me look good out there.”

Ken Casellas, Gloucester Park

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