Day At The Track

Is time up for Pocket Watch?

04:19 AM 27 Aug 2008 NZST
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Yearlings by Lombo Pocket Watch
Yearlings by Lombo Pocket Watch - will be represented at the South Australian Premier Sale.
Gloucester Park

Could Friday night's Courage Under Fire "Chariots Of Fire" be the final race start for thePaul Fitzpatrick trained Lombo Pocket Watch? The four year old stallion has bankedmore than one million dollars in his career and his owner Mick Lombardo is weighing upwhether the time is right to bring the curtain down on Australia's best ever juvenile.

Lombardo is keen to stand the son of Jet Laag at stud and is looking forward to watching his progeny race.

"One doesn't know what to do for the best. I mean I have been having a look at it, Iwould have thought if New Zealand opened its doors up and got rid of the quarantine problem maybe we wouldn't retire him, but that's not going to happen.

"All you have inAustralia is the Miracle Mile and you have to hang around a long time for it so I really don't know but after Friday night we will come up with something."

The Miracle Mile will be run at Harold Park for the final time in November butLombardo's love of juvenile racing will play a major role in the final decision.

"It's probably my best chance to win a Miracle Mile but I would have to give up abreeding season or just about anyway. I am 71 years old and I would like to see somelittle Pocket Watch's running around the country very soon."

Lombardo has been keen to target Friday night's feature with the "grey bullet" and has had success in the past. 

His mare Lombo Rapida was victorious in the Chariots Of Firein 2000.

"This has been the race for him all season. I guess after this race we have to make somedecisions. It's not one I want to make but I am going to have to make it at some stage.

"There has been plenty of interest in Lombo Pocket Watch as a stallion and Lombardobelieves that breeders in the country are now ready to give Australian horses a chance toprove themselves in the breeding barn.

"People don't give the Aussie horses a go at stud but I think they are ready to do that.The Yanks can't beat our horses. I don't care what they say. They haven't brought one out here that could. So nothing is going to change.

"People say the quality of the ones that come here aren't the good ones but I think that is a bunch of nonsense.

"The breeding industry in Australia is interested to see how much the service fee will be when Lombo Pocket Watch does go to stud, however Lombardo is confident that he will be affordable to all of the interested parties.

"We thought about $3000, that question is being asked a lot at the moment, but we thought $3000 is very fair."

Lombardo has toyed with the idea of sending Lombo Pocket Watch across to North America to race but believe the logistics of the trip would make it too taxing on the horse.

"It would be fun to send Lombo Pocket Watch over there to the states but you can't do everything. You have to have a trainer to go over there and you lose a lot of time. Thereis no way I would ever send him over there by himself."

Meanwhile in other Chariots Of Fire news, the Victorian trained Mister Swinger has beenscratched with trainer Geoff Webster announcing that his star four year old hassuccumbed to a throat infection.

Mister Swinger's withdrawal from the race will allow fellow Victorian Keayang Hanoverthe opportunity to gain a start.

The Marg Lee trained runner was made the firstemergency for the race on Friday night despite its recent strong form. Keayang Hanoverwill start from barrier two.

The Courage Under Fire "Chariots Of Fire" is race five on Friday night and will start at8:40pm.

Harness Racing NSW

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