Day At The Track

Lombo Pocket Watch sets the pace in win 44

12:37 AM 30 Apr 2012 NZST
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The winning connections of Getaway Plan Lombo Pocket Watch
The winning connections of Getaway Plan
Lombo Pocket Watch
Photo by Simon Evans

Lombo Pocket Watch showed that he would be a leading player in the Winter Cup harness racing events at Gloucester Park with a powerful frontrunning display to win the 2506m Vale Village Kid Pace on Friday night (April 27).

This was the eight-year-old's 44thvictory in a magnificent 78-start career which has netted $1,505,353 in prizemoney for breeder-owner Mick Lombardo.

After he was placed once in three heats of the interdominion pacing championship in February Forrestdale trainers Greg and Skye Bond decided to keep the grey stallion in work and give him the opportunity to show local harness racing fans his true ability.

He has bounced back to top form, with his past three starts producing two splendid wins and a fast-finishing second to Jumbo Operator.

Colin Brown got Lombo Pocket Watch, favourite at 5/4, away fast from the No. 5 barrier and he relished his pacemaking role. After coasting through the first two 400m sections of the final mile in 30.8sec. and 29.9sec. Lombo Pocket Watched sprinted the next two quarters in 28.4sec. and 28.1sec. to win easily by 5m from 14/1 chance Im Grant Lea, who trailed him all the way. Lombo Pocket Watch rated a smart 1.56.8.

Please Release Me, second fancy at 5/2, started from the outside of the front line and settled in last position before sustaining a spirited burst to finish third.

ARMA EXPRESS HAS TWO MORE $100,000 EVENTS AT HER MERCY

Young reinsman Ben Keiley landed his biggest winner in harness racing when he guided hot favourite Arma Express to an effortless all-the-way victory in the $100,000 group 1 Clipsal Sales Classic for two-year-old fillies at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Bred and owned by Jim Currie, Arma Express now appears to have a stranglehold on two more group 1 $100,000 events for two-year-old fillies this season, the Diamond Classic on June 8 and the State Sires Series final on July 6.

And after those events she could even be a runner in another group 1 classic, the $125,000 Golden Slipper on July 20.

Arma Express, favourite at 2/1 on and trained at Byford by 23-year-old Keiley's father Noel, made Friday night's classic a one-act affair when she led from barrier two on the front line and set a solid pace before winning by just over five lengths from 14/1 chance Kanata Queen, who finished solidly from seventh at the bell. Polemarker Burn The Boys, who trailed the pacemaker throughout, was a head away in third place.

The winner sprinted over the final 800m in 57.7sec. and rated 1.57.5 over the 1700m journey which broke the race record of 1.57.8, set by Nevabend Lombo in 2001. Arma Express has won easily at each of her three starts and she now has earned $80,950.

By American stallion Artiscape, Arma Express is out of New Zealand-bred mare Arma Antoinette, who managed only one win from 13 starts. Arma Express was offered at the 2011 Gloucester Standardbred Yearling Sale and was passed in after failing to reach her reserves price of $40,000.

The Kim Prentice-trained filly Eagle Rox, who went into the race with an unbeaten record from two starts, was a clear second favourite at 5/2 from the inside of the back line. She was last at the bell before finishing gamely into fourth place.

GETAWAY PLAN IS BRED TO BE A STAR PERFORMER

Getaway Plan, related to former champion mare and world record-holder Dainty's Daughter, set a race record when he gave a bold frontrunning display to score an easy victory in the $100,000 group 1 Clipsal Sales Classic for two-year-old colts and geldings at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

The Tony Svilicich pair of Has The Answers and Mysta Magical Mach, who had dominated open-class racing for much of the season, were unplaced. Has The Answers (8/1) raced in the one-out, one-back position and finished a fair fourth and Mysta Magical Mach (4/1) worked hard without cover before wilting to eighth.

He was a warm second favourite at 2/1 after drawing the prized No. 1 barrier and reinsman Shannon Suvaljko made the most of this distinct advantage by dictating the terms in front.

After dashing over the first 400m section of the final mile in 29.3sec., Getaway Plan relaxed and coasted through the next quarter in 31.1sec. before running both the next two sections in 29.2sec. to beat 6/4 favourite Empires Express by two and a half lengths at a 1.58.1 rate to better the race record rate of 1.58.3 set by Talladega in 1999.

Empires Express fought on doggedly after working hard in the breeze and he finished two lengths ahead of third placegetter Rocky Pop (10/1), who finished determinedly. As Tough As Steel, a winner at three of his first four starts and an 8/1 chance from the No. 2 barrier, battled on into fifth place after enjoying an ideal passage, one-out and one-back.

Getaway Plan, who had finished a well-beaten second to Empires Express at his only previous start, was produced in fine fettle by Byford trainer Ron Huston, who races the Parsons Den gelding in partnership with his mother Lynda and Josef Weber. Getaway Plan, bred by Royalstar Farm, was purchased for $10,000 at the 2011 Gloucester Standardbred Yearling Sale.

Getaway Plan is a half-brother to Mrs Huston's star six-year-old Jumbo Operator, who has amassed $310,035 in stakes from his 24 wins and eight placings from only 39 starts. The dam of both pacers is Queen Delilah, who raced 67 times for ten wins, 25 placings and earnings of $66,421.

Queen Delilah is out of Dainty Delilah, whose granddam Dainty Widow produced the mighty Dainty's Daughter, who won 36 races and set two world records --- when she won the Meteor Mile in 1969 from Renaud and Radiant Oro in 1.58.8 (a world recor4d for a mare over a mile on a half-mile track) and when she won the 1970 WA Pacing Cup, rating 2.3.5, a world record in a stand over two miles.

Getaway Plan's next start could be in the $50,000 Champagne Classic to be run next Friday night. His main mission is the $100,000 State Sires Series for two-year-old colts and geldings on July 6.

VERSATILE PURE EMPATHY GETS HER CHANCE IN THE WA OAKS

Pinjarra trainer Brad Groves is looking forward keenly to having his first runner in the WA Oaks after small filly Pure Empathy qualified for the $150,000 classic at Gloucester Park on May 11 by winning the Clipsal By Schneider WA Oaks Prelude on Friday night.

Better known as a frontrunner, Pure Empathy showed her versatility by producing a strong finishing burst to beat rank outsiders Southern Legacy and Ravashing in the 2506m event at a 2.1.9 rate.

"Her previous two wins were when she led and tonight she showed that she can also come from behind," said reinsman Morgan Woodley. "There's not much of her, but she gives everything she's got. She's got gate speed and is honest."

Pure Empathy, nicely drawn at barrier three on the front line after her smart all-the-way win at Pinjarra at her previous start, was at the surprisingly good odds of 9/1. This was entirely due to the first appearance in WA of New Zealand-bred filly My Mississippi Rose.

My Mississippi Rose, purchased a few weeks ago by astute Byford trainer Tony Svilicich, was strongly supported and started favourite at 10/9 on. Chris Lewis sent her straight to the front from barrier two and she bowled along in the lead before fading badly over the final stages. She dropped out to finish tenth.

Im Hey Jude, a winner at Bunbury at each of her two previous starts, dashed forward in the first circuit to move into the breeze after a lap had been covered. Justin Prentice sent her to a narrow lead with 420m to travel before Shes So Fair (last in the middle stages) got to the lead 100m from the post.

Woodley had driven a patient race behind Pure Empathy, who raced in sixth position in the one-wide line before switching four wide on the home turn and storming home to win narrowly from the fast-finishing pair of Southern Legacy and Ravashing.

Pure Empathy, who was placed once from two starts in New Zealand, now has earned $27,596. She has had 14 starts in WA for three wins and five placings.

GREYHAWK IN A PURPLE PATCH OF FORM

Victorian-bred seven-year-old Greyhawk maintained his purple patch of form when he unwound a powerful finishing burst to snatch victory from Adda Paternal Suit in the 2100m Club Clipsal Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

His past 12 starts for owner Kevin Jeavons and trainer Ryan Bell have produced five wins, three seconds, two thirds and two fourths. The son of Badlands Hanover has now earned $138,389 from his 117 wins and 20 placings from 99 starts.

Bell, the gelding's regular driver, engaged 20-year-old New Zealander Shane Butcher to make Greyhawk eligible to contest Friday night's race which was restricted to M1-class pacers. Greyhawk was classified as an M2-class performer, but with Butcher's concession as a junior reinsman he was able to take his place in the field.

Greyhawk, favourite at 9/4, started from the outside of the back line and Butcher was content to keep him at the rear while Specks Pertum set the pace, with Absolute Cool in the breeze.

Chris Lewis sent Absolute Cool to the front 400m from home before Adda Paternal Suit, who had raced three wide for most of the journey, burst to the front 220m from the post and opened up a decisive lead. But Greyhawk, ninth at the bell and following the three-wide run of The Forger (who was trailing Adda Paternal Suit), stormed home to get to the front about 15m from the finish.

Touch Me Toes, a 40/1 outsider, was last early and tenth at the bell before finishing solidly into third place, ahead of The Forger.

HALLS SETTING THE PACE IN METROPOLITAN LISTS

The mastery of champion trainer Gary Hall sen. again was on display at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he landed a double with former Victorian performers Remember El and Kentucky Jasper.

Both pacers arrived in WA recently with worrying losing sequences. Remember El had a losing run of ten and he now has had three starts for Hall for two most impressive victories and an extremely unlucky second placing.

Kentucky Jasper's losing sequence stood at 18. He had managed just two wins from his previous 35 starts, but he has impressed in WA where his first four starts have resulted in two wins and two placings.

Friday night's double increased Hall's lead on the metropolitan trainers' list as well as keeping Gary Hall jun. well clear of his nearest rivals in the reinsmen's premiership. Hall sen. has trained 61 city winners this season and leads from Greg and Skye Bond (58) and Tony Svilicich (25).

Hall jun. Has driven 74 city winners and shows the way from Colin Brown (60), Morgan Woodley (52) and Chris Lewis (48).

Remember El advanced to an M4 mark when he started at 5/2 on and proved too good for his rivals in the 56 Series Pace over 2100m. He settled down in seventh position, with polemarker Corza Commotion setting the pace from Strident in the breeze and Onedin Crusader enjoying a perfect trail behind the leader.

Hall jun. switched Remember El three wide 600m after the start and the gelding moved outside the leader 1200m from home. The final two 400m sections were covered in 28.4sec. and 28.3sec., with Remember El getting to the front in the final 130m and winning by 5m from rank outsider Onedin Crusader, with Corza Commotion a head away in third place.

The winner rated 1.56.3 and looks set to make his mark in open-class feature events in the coming months. He has earned $159,483 from 16 wins and 16 placings from 51 starts.

Kentucky Jasper was favourite at 5/4 for the 2100m Clipsal Powerhouse Pace and Hall jun. was content to keep him at the rear for the first lap while polemarker Miss Baypoint was setting a fast pace.

Hall started a three-wide move with Kentucky Jasper after a lap had been completed and the six-year-old moved to fourth, three wide, at the bell. Kentucky Jasper fought on doggedly and hit the front 80m from the post before winning by 2m from Hillview Aussie (who had trailed the leader all the way), with Mistaken Identity finishing third. Barmy Army caught the eye with a fast-finishing fifth.

DOUBLE FOR SUVALJKO AND GEORGE TAKES THE LEAD IN PRENTICE MEDAL

Serpentine trainer Shannon Suvaljko completed a double at Gloucester Park on Friday night when last-start winner Large As Life Lombo scored at handsome odds in the 2506m Clipsal Safety Young Drivers Pathway Pace.

Suvaljko, who had trained and driven Adda Tak for his win in the opening event, engaged 23-year-old Michael George to handle Large As Life Lombo and the victory took George into the lead in the Kim Prentice Medal competition. He now leads from Chris Butt and Kyle Harper.

Even though Large As Life Lombo had finished solidly to win at Pinjarra at his previous start, he was overlooked by punters when he started from barrier four on the back line on Friday night when polemarker Empire Flame was all the rage and started a hot favourite at 10/9.

Empire Flame set the pace, but after he had snapped his tongue tie and got his tongue over the bit early, he raced fiercely for Chris Playle and was pulling extremely hard when he led by four lengths in the middle stages.

Large As Life Lombo settled in 11thposition and he moved into eighth place at the bell, with George following the three-wide run of Takeabow. Zacs Nuggett (6/1) was working hard without cover and he got to the front 600m from home. But he was unable to withstand the finishing burst of Large As Life Lombo, who zoomed to the front at the 220m mark.

Large As Life Lombo dashed over the final 400m in 28.4sec. and won by just under a length from the gallant Zacs Nuggett, with Takeabow holding on gamely to be third, just ahead of Arden Major, who raced without luck.

Large As Life Lombo, who is related to former quality mares Smooth Gale and Misty Maiden, has earned $62,101 from 13 wins and 14 placings from 64 starts.

ADDA TAK COMES FROM A FAMILY OF WINNERS

Four-year-old Adda Tak scored his second win in the space of three days when Serpentine trainer Shannon Suvaljko drove him to victory in the Clipsal Westbred Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Adda Tak had led and won in good style at Harvey the previous Tuesday night, but punters preferred another four-year-old in Paramedic, who started favourite at 5/2, with Adda Tak at 3/1.

Adda Tak was left in the breeze early while polemarker Honorername set the pace. However, Aiden de Campo sent Paramedic forward soon after the start to move into the breeze after 500m, giving Adda Tak an ideal trail, one-out and one-back.

Paramedic fought his way to the front on the home turn, but was unable to hold off Adda Tak who won by 1m, with Tartary Troy running on from ninth at the bell to be third.

Adda Tak has been a consistent performer and he now has earned $65,006 from ten wins and 19 placings from 58 starts. His dam Tryalittlekindness managed only one win (at Pinjarra in December 2000) from 35 starts.

Tryalittlekindness is out of Alfa Courageous, whom produced good winners Roadless Travelled (22 wins, 26 placings and $183,666 from 94 starts) and Courageous Ned (19 wins, 35 placings and $177,564 from 109 starts).

Travis Arania, the dam of Alfa Courageous, produced Scanio, who earned $208,495 from 22 wins and 29 placings from 114 starts. Travis Arania's dam Oro Travis produced ten winners and her dam Wild Oro was the mother of former star pacer Bin Oro. Wild Oro's dam Bo0nnie Oro produced Cheeky Arab, one of the best race mares in WA in the 1950s.

FAST START PAVES THE WAY FOR MY ELUSIVE DREAM'S VICTORY

A brilliant beginning from the 10m line by My Elusive Dream paved the way for the five-year-old's easy victory in the 2503m Saturn One Touch Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

My Elusive Dream's task was made easier when five of his 11 rivals either galloped or broke soon after the start.

Polemarker California Dreams began badly, but was still able to settle in front. He surrendered the lead after 350m when Nathan Turvey sent My Elusive Dream to the front.

Uppy Son, favourite at 10/9 on, was inconvenienced at the start and then broke into a gallop and was in 11thplace after a lap had been covered. Uppy Son fought on gamely from ninth at the bell to finish sixth. My Elusive Dream, an 11/2 chance after his smart victory over Gday mate a week earlier, dashed away from his rivals in the closing stages to win by two and a half lengths from California Dreams

My Elusive Dream, trained at Mt Helena by Ray Williams, is lightly raced, with his 33 starts producing 13 wins and six placings for stakes of $68,943.

by Ken CASELLAS

Lombo Pocket Watch notching up career win number 44 from start 78:

Arma Express winning the $100,000 2yo fillies Sales Classic:

Getaway Plan winning theĀ $100,000 Group 1 Clipsal Sales Classic for two-year-old colts and geldings:

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