Win­ning colt em­u­lates star gal­loper

Matamata Chronicle - - Sport - By AI­DAN ROD­LEY

EX­CIT­ING colt An­to­nio Lom­bardo em­u­lated Mata­mata trainer Peter McKay’s former star gal­loper Alam­osa when he scorched over the Hast­ings 1400m course to win Satur­day’s $85,000 Hawke’s Bay Guineas.

Alam­osa had al­ready won the Gr I Di­a­mond Stakes when he won the 2007 Hawke’s Bay Guineas and went on to win a fur­ther three Gr I races to set him­self up for a stal­lion ca­reer.

Trainer Peter McKay has a sim­i­lar opinion of An­to­nio Lom­bardo and said there were sev­eral sim­i­lar­i­ties be­tween the two horses.

But he is not in­tend­ing to go out of his way to make a stal­lion out of the Pins colt.

‘‘I’ve kept warn­ing him about tak­ing them [his tes­ti­cles] out and it seems to be work­ing,’’ McKay said.

‘‘It was a bit of headache with Alam­osa, all the time hav­ing in the back of your mind that you’re try­ing to turn him into a stal­lion.

‘‘With this horse we’ll just en­joy his rac­ing. We’ll still go for the best races but with­out wor­ry­ing about try­ing to make him into a stal­lion. If it hap­pens that way, it hap­pens.’’

An­to­nio Lom­bardo has now won two of the races Alam­osa won early in his ca­reer – the Listed Welles­ley Stakes and the Gr II Hawke’s Bay Guineas.

‘‘He’s prob­a­bly done a bit more than Alam­osa at this stage be­cause he’s also run sec­ond in the Karaka Mil­lion and won that Gr III race [Taranaki 2yo Clas­sic] at New Ply­mouth,’’ McKay said.

‘‘He came out in his early two year olds and showed he had the goods and then he was only a nose away from win­ning a Gr I.’’ That was when An­to­nio Lom­bardo was just de­nied by last sea­son’s cham­pion two-year-old An­a­ban­dana in the Gr I Manawatu Sires’ Pro­duce Stakes (1400m) at Awa­puni.

Satur­day’s win was An­to­nio Lom­bardo’s sec­ond stakes win from as many starts at three, hav­ing blitzed his ri­vals with a 51⁄ length win in last month’s North­land Breed­ers’ Stakes (1200m) at Ruakaka re­sum­ing.

‘‘They are pretty much the same,’’ McKay said when asked to com­pare An­to­nio Lom­bardo to Alam­osa.

‘‘Alam­osa had a pretty sim­i­lar prepa­ra­tion to this too. They are pretty sim­i­lar horses to try and get a line on be­fore the race too.

‘‘Es­trato [fifth in Satur­day’s Guineas] had it all over him [in train­ing] the other day but race­day he’s a dif­fer­ent horse and Alam­osa was a lot like that.

‘‘He’s kick­ing away now with­out them hav­ing to come up to him. As a two-year-old he used to wait for them. But he does like a fight.’’ Rider Sam Spratt took An­to­nio Lom­bardo to the front but not be­fore Mata­mata geld­ing Vin­cent Street had made him work for the lead. That made lit­tle dif­fer­ence in the end as An­to­nio Lom­bardo, raced by McKay and his wife Kim in part­ner­ship with Christchurch busi­ness­man Trevor Luke, kept up a strong gal­lop to the line, win­ning by 1 lengths from Cam­bridge filly Pres­ti­gious Miss, with Gin­ner Hart claim­ing third, ahead of Whoshe, Es­trato and Bee­jay Belle.

Spratt said An­to­nio Lom­bardo al­ways had the race in con­trol.

‘‘If an­other horse had come up to him, he would have gone again,’’ she said.

McKay said An­to­nio Lom­bardo would now head to Tren­tham for the Gr II $85,000 Welling­ton Guineas (1500m) on Oc­to­ber 22, where he is el­i­gi­ble for a $30,000 TBS bonus should he win, be­fore tack­ling the Gr I $250,000 Levin Clas­sic (1600m) at Otaki in Novem­ber.

‘‘He’s bred to get a lot fur­ther,’’ McKay said.

Pres­ti­gious Miss’ rider Ja­son Wad­dell was thrilled with his filly’s per­for­mance. ‘‘Su­per lit­tle filly. She’s got a good heart but she’s just run into a hell of a good horse.’’

Trainer Roger James said Pres­ti­gious Miss could go straight into the Gr I $300,000 1000 Guineas (1600m) at Ric­car­ton on Novem­ber 5 with­out an­other run.

Whanganui trainer Alexan­der Fieldes said Gin­ner Hart would also head to Ric­car­ton, for the Gr I $400,000 2000 Guineas (1600m) on Novem­ber 12, also with­out an­other leadup.

Peter McKay: Pic­tured in 2010.

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