Antonio Lombardo (NZ) commencing his three-year-old season with a dominant win in the LR Northland Breeders’ Stakes (1200m) at Ruakaka on Saturday.
The Pins colt jumped straight to the front and was never headed to run out a five length winner over Moirai (Not A Single Doubt) and Perfect Katch (Perfectly Ready).
Raced by trainer Peter McKay along with his wife Kim and part-owner Trevor Luke, the colt is an excellent advertisement for the NZ Thoroughbred Bonus Scheme, earning three holidays and two cars for his connections.
“We’ll take one car and Trevor can have the other,” McKay said. “It’s quite exciting – he seems to have gone to the next level.”
Antonio Lombardo muscled up during a winter spell and was burly in condition for his first-up assignment at Ruakaka. “He hasn’t grown in size but is very clean winded,” McKay added. “He’s an easy horse to keep ticking over and will have a couple of days off before getting ready for the Hawke’s Bay Guineas.”
The G2 Guineas will be run at Hastings on October 1. McKay won the race in 2007 with his former top-liner Alamosa (O’Reilly).
Antonio Lombardo (3c Pins –Petit Verdot by Carnegie) was bred by Robert Anderson and Cherry and Brent Taylor. His dam is a sister to NZ bred Victoria Derby winner Amalfi (Carnegie).