Day At The Track

Gomeo Romeo is set for New Zealand Cup

04:13 PM 26 Jun 2013 NZST
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After a 16-month injury-enforced spell Gomeo Romeo has started his slow and gradual build up to the 2013 New Zealand Cup with a win at the Alexandra Park harness racing workouts on Saturday (June 22).

The Geoff Small trained and Simon Lawson driven 6-year-old won a three-horse 2200m mobile in a sedate 2:56 even (mile rate: 2:08.7). Last 800m: 58.8. Last 400m: 28.5. "We didn't go to the track to try and break any records. It was just a day out for him after being away from racing for so long. "I didn't ask him for anything. He just got up on the bit and bowled along as he liked. He felt really good without being asked the question," Lawson told HRNZ.

The Presidential Ball entire had 1-3/4 lengths and half a neck to spare over Napoleon Dynamite and stablemate, Shardon's Operator. It was the first time Gomeo Romeo had been seen at Alexandra Park since running second behind Sir Lincoln in the Group Three $25,000 Manukau Summer Cup there on 31 December 2011.

Five weeks later, at Addington Raceway is when he severely injured his front tendon. There was even speculation he would be sent to stud. "If his injury had been any worse that might have been the end of him, but Geoff has taken his time with him and nursed him to the stage he's now at. He's a credit to his horesmanship. The last thing we want to do is to rush him into racing when the main target, the New Zealand Cup, is still five months away," Lawson said.

He said Gomeo Romeo would continue to attend trials and workouts in the north before embarking on his racing career again in the Spring. Gomeo Romeo has won 13 of his 52 starts and placed in 12 others for $340,193 in purses. His major Group One achievement was winning the 2011 Taylor Mile. He also won the Group Two 2012 Waikato Flying Mile. He also finished fourth behind Terror To Love in the 2011 New Zealand Cup.

Gomeo Romeo is owned by L.T. Henwood and was bred by Mrs M.J. Downey and K.R. Downey. He is the fifth foal, of seven, out of the 12-win ($157,409) Frugal Gourmet mare, Stylish Sweetheart. His younger half-brother named Sterlish won four races and $30,681.

Courtesy of HRNZ and Duane Ranger

Gomeo Romeo - last win

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