Pins Colt Earns Glowing Praise

Peter McKay won a swag of Gr 1 titles with a son of O’Reilly and he now fancies his chances of eclipsing those achievements with a Pins colt. The Matamata trainer paid his current star Antonio Lombardo the highest of compliments after he had posted a dominant winning performance in the Gr 3 James and Annie Sarten Memorial Stakes at Te Rapa.

“He likes to lead and he kicked on the corner and I’m starting to think this horse is better,” McKay said when asked to compare the three-year-old to Alamosa who won the Thorndon Mile, Otaki-Maori WFA and the Ellerslie Sires’ Produce Stakes with the stallion. He also landed the Toorak Handicap after his sale and transfer to Caulfield trainer Mick Prince.

Antonio Lombardo fronted up at Te Rapa after McKay decided against a start in the Gr 2 Wellington Guineas at Trentham on Saturday. “We were going to Wellington but due to the wet track there we came here and took on the top filly (Anabandana),” he said. “She beat us two out of two last season but he’s improved a lot.”

Ridden by regular partner Sam Spratt, Antonio Lombardo worked to the front and revelled in his work to the turn. He maintained a strong gallop down the straight and never looked in danger with a length to spare on Anabandana at the post. McKay’s next port of call with his top-rated colt will be in the Central Districts with the Gr 1 Levin Classic his aim.

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