Day At The Track

Lombo Pocket Watch could race in Interdoms

05:31 AM 23 Dec 2010 NZDT
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Mick Lombardo Lombo Pocket Watch
Mick Lombardo
Lombo Pocket Watch - aka 'The Grey Bullet'.
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"If you're not in you can't win. For the sake of $500 we had to nominate him. He's going pretty good at the moment but in saying that we are not too serious about his Interdominion harness racing prospects - just yet."

That's the opinion of Mick Lombardo, the owner and breeder of the mighty Lombo Pocket Watch aka 'The Grey Bullet'.

The 7-year-old son of Jet Laag, who last raced on November 20, 2009, was one of 70 nominations received for the 2011 Inter Dominion Pacing Championships at Addington Raceway in Christchurch from March 25 to April 8.

The winner of 40 of his 63 starts and $1.4 million in stakes has been brought out of stud to resurrect his racing career. He served about 60 mares in his first stud season and about 40 this year.

Lombardo described his progeny as "unbelievable" but because he was still relatively young and fit it he said it was worth returning him to the racetrack.

"He's a wonderful horse to work with. In fact I'd say he's more intelligent than a lot of people I know. We worked him for about three to four months on the farm to get him warm and now Ross (Olivieri) has almost got him hot. By all accounts he is working really well and is really well advanced in his training. He should be trialling in a week or two," Lombardo said.

Olivieri, who has had Lombo Pocket Watch for about three weeks, is preparing him for the $250,000 Freemantle Pacing Cup at Gloucester Park on February 14 and then the $400,000 Western Australia Pacing Cup at the same venue a week later.

Lombardo said those two races would give both him and Olivieri a gauge as to where the former Australian age group champion was at.

"It all depends how he comes back but when you are racing for $1 million it's silly not to enter a horse of this quality into an event like the inter Dominion. There's no shortage of good races for us both here in and in New Zealand.

"The only problem is there is no shortage of good horse either," Lombardo said.

"He's going pretty well at the moment but if things don't go to plan on the racetrack at least we have the option of returning him to stud," he added.

In his first season of racing as a two year old, Lombo Pocket Watch won five Group One races and was voted the overall 2006 Australian Harness Horse of the Year - the first two year old to win the award.

As a three year old, he won another five Group One races including three of the prestigious Derbies and was voted 2007 Australian 3yo Pacer of the Year.

At four Lombo Pocket Watch won another two Group One races to bring his tally to 12 Group One victories.

He has raced two times in New Zealand but never at Addington raceway . At alexandra Park he finished second and fourth behind Changeover and Gotta Go Cullen in the 2007 Woodlands 3yo Derby Final and the Derby heat respectively. They were staged on March 2 and February 23, 2007.

It will be Lombo Pocket watch's second comeback. He stood at stud at Concorde Park in Victoria, Australia, before being brought back into training as a late five year old. 

By Duane RANGER (editor)

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