Day At The Track

Lombo Pocket Watch set to strike Friday

06:32 AM 03 Jun 2009 NZST
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Leading New South Wales trainer Paul Fitzpatrick believes his former Australian horse of the year Lombo Pocket Watch can return to Harold Park a winner on Friday night despite resuming after more than 9 months and a breeding season at stud.

The five year old stallion hasn’t been seen at the Glebe circuit since finishing second to Ebony Gem in the Chariots Of Fire and Fitzpatrick is counting down the days until he resumes.

“I am very excited about Friday night and the stable has been lucky to find a nice little race on the Harold Park programme for him before he goes into the bigger races. So this week has fallen right into our plans.”

“He isn’t fully wound up yet but in saying that he is still very well. It’s a lovely race for him to step into first up.”

Lombo Pocket Watch has trialled twice in the lead up to his resumption on Friday and Fitzpatrick was happy with both efforts.

“The first trial at Penrith they say he and Make Me Smile got home in 58 seconds very easily. The other day he went 1:56.0 at Menangle under a strong hold so we are very happy with what he has shown us so far. He needs winding up for sure but that will only come with racing.”

While Fitzpatrick was unsure about the exact number of mares he served while away from the track, he believes it has had no effect on his desire to win.

“I think he served about 100 mares. I think he got 70 outside mares and 30 from Mick (Lombardo – owner). I’ve had no problems with him since he has been back at my place, he fitted straight back in it was like he had never been to stud.”

Fitzpatrick had been considering a possible trip to Victoria for the opening of Tabcorp Park with Lombo Pocket Watch but those plans have been scrapped because of a number of feature races in Queensland at the same time.

“At this stage I’d say he would go to Queensland. He can compete in three races in the space of three weeks and the prizemoney has been increased for a number of the features. We’d love to go to Melton but it clashes with Brisbane and unfortunately we can’t do both.”

Lombo Pocket Watch will be aimed at next year’s Watpac Inter Dominion with the series set to be staged in New South Wales, however just how long he remains out of the breeding barn is anyone’s guess.

“He will race for the entire season and then Mick will weigh up his options. I don’t know if the Inter Dominion in NSW was what made Mick decide to give him another season. He just said this is what we are going to do and it suited me.”

“Deep down I think everyone’s aim is the Inter Dominion even though the organisers have tampered with it.”

Lombo Pocket Watch will compete in race 5 at Harold Park on Friday night with the race scheduled to start at 8pm.

In other news from the Fitzpatrick stable a decision on the racing future of last week’s Queen Of The Pacific winner Dance Of Life is expected to be made in the next 24 hours.

The talented mare is owned by Matthew Sandblom and after several conversations Fitzpatrick is expecting she will be retired to stud.

“Matthew will meet with me later this week and we will discuss it but we spoke about it on the phone last night (Monday) and we are pretty sure she will go to stud and I think she is going to Art Major.”

“She’s actually a broodmare gem. She’s out of a half sister to The Private Dancer so we are pretty excited about getting her to stud really.”

While Dance Of Life may have run her final race, the stable looks set to have a number of runners in line for a berth in the Chariots Of Fire. Fitzpatrick has plenty of talented four year olds this season and the toughest job could be keeping them apart between now and the July feature.

“We are very strong depth wise with our four year olds. They are lovely horses and we have had a bit of luck with horses out of New Zealand and its panned out really well. Sometimes they turn out and sometimes they don’t. The unfortunate fact is that we won’t have Davey J because of injury and he was probably one of the best.”

Amber Lovelock  

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