Lombardo leads all the way in The Goodwood Handicap

Adelaide has been a happy hunting ground for the Mick Price & Michael Kent Jr trained Lombardo, who was previously unbeaten in four trips across the border, including a win in the Listed Mahini Classic (1100m) earlier this preparation.

Despite his affiliation with Morphettville, Lombardo was sent around as an $18 chance in his first crack at Group One company, jumping from barrier 18 of 19 with Zac Spain aboard.

Spain had to work across from out wide but eventually took up the lead, and although a few dangers loomed inside the 200m, he found another gear to run out a 1.5L winner over consistent sprinters Halvorsen and The Astrologist.

Having notched up his maiden Group One win aboard Streets Of Avalon in the 2021 C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m), Spain was elated to record another win at the highest level on a horse he rode to win on debut.

“It definitely makes it pretty special, just for Mick and the whole team and Mick Kent Jr to have faith in me and put me back on him, he just loves Adelaide, he thrives when he’s here,” Spain said.

Co-trainer Mick Price, who also saddled up race favourite Extreme Warrior (18th), was a bit surprised post-race that Lombardo was able to win at the highest level, especially from such a wide barrier.

“He deserves his chance and when your rating goes up, you’ve got to keep climbing the ladder, so he deserves his chance. When it drew poorly sometimes you’ve just got to forget about that stuff,” Price said.

Price was thrilled for Spain, who he urged not to get caught up in tactics pre-race.

I said to Zac, ‘don’t’ worry about what goes on in this race. Back yourself and back your horse and ride your own race. I don’t want to be talking about tactics and who to follow and who not to. Just ride your own race and let it roll.’

He came to me as an apprentice and he’s a very good kid. Very good hard worker and I was glad that he was able to maintain his association with the horse,” Price said.

While Lombardo, as a gelding, will continue to race, Extreme Warrior won’t be seen on the racetrack again.

“He’s ready for stud. He’s a colt and he was quite difficult to saddle up today. That is not his normal form. The deal was done on him and he’s off to stud and I’m sure he’ll be a good bull,” Price said.

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