Day At The Track

Something in the water at Wallan

08:07 AM 20 May 2008 NZST
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If his training base counts for anything, Lombo Pocket Watch’s quest to become only the second pacer to make a clean sweep of the Vicbred Super Series is in the bag. In the 26-year history of the Vicbred Super Series, the only pacer to have won their two, three and four-year-old finals is the Noel Shinn-trained Colbruce.

In a striking coincidence, it is at Shinn’s Wallan property that Lombo Pocket Watch, trained by Paul Fitzpatrick at Cawdor, 70km south west of Sydney, boards while campaigning in Victoria.

It is a link that would send omen players into a frenzy and one that isn’t lost on Shinn, who would love for Wallan to be able to lay claim to another three-time Vicbred champion.

“It is a bit strange, I guess,” Shinn said. “But it’s always nice to be around good horses and he’s a good horse, probably even a champion.”

“It’s like his second home here. He likes the place and he settles in well all the time and he’s a pleasure to have around the place.

“There’s only one thing wrong; Paul Fitzpatrick’s training him and not me!” he added with a giggle.

But even though he is full of admiration for his high-profile lodger, Shinn believes Colbruce will still have something over “The Grey Bullet” even if the latter does salute on Friday night.

Where Lombo Pocket Watch’s Vicbred finals have been spread over three seasons, Colbruce ran in four Vicbred finals in the space of 18 months.

He won his initial two-year-old final in June 1996, which was later declared a no race because of a fall, but came out a week later and won the re-run event. The son of Muckalee Strike then snared the three-year-old crown in May 1997, seven months before taking out the four-year-old final.

“He might equal his record, but he’ll never break it because Colbruce won it twice as a two-year-old,” Shinn said. “I guess that means we’ll still have a little bit of an edge on him.”

Lombo Pocket Watch will start a short-priced favourite in Friday night’s final, which will be run at 9.12pm, after drawing favourably in gate three at this morning’s barrier draw.

The 2575-metre event will see the son of Jet Laag, a winner of 34 of his 44 starts, chase a 13th Group 1 win. Five of those elite-level wins have been secured on Victorian tracks and last week’s semi final win was his ninth from as many attempts at Moonee Valley.

Brad Bishop

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