Right time for Manikato assault

‘Right place, right time’ might be how the connections of the Mick Price & Michael Kent Jr-trained Lombardo are feeling heading into the Manikato Stakes. 

Last week’s Everest at Randwick may have robbed Friday night’s Group 1 weight-for-age sprint over 1200m some star power, but for those involved with Lombardo, they are not concerned. 

Price says Lombardo is “in the zone”, picture Racing Photos 

Lombardo will be aiming for his fourth straight win on Friday night and importantly has a win over the course and distance. The son of I Am Invincible has also been a steady riser through the grades, winning a Benchmark 78 grade race at Morphettville, before scoring at Benchmark 84 level at The Valley, and then accounting for Pandemic in the Listed Village Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on October 9. 

“He’s in the zone,” Price said. “Sometimes you have to catch them on the way through. You get one that is handy and going well and you look for better races for them. 

“You can always go back to lesser races, but I thought this year might be an opportunity to run in the Manikato. I’ve not really thought of him as a genuine Group 1 horse before, but he’s a big, strong mature five-year-old now that is in the zone, so why not.” 

Lombardo has come up with gate three on Friday night and will be ridden by Jye McNeil, who guided him to victory at Caulfield. 

First-up Schillaci Stakes winner Savatoxl is the market leader at $4.60 from Lombardo at $5, with Godolphin colt Ingratiating on the next line at $6. 

“I think a quicker horse probably has it on him, but he’s a strong 1200-metre horse,” Price said. “It is just a matter of luck in running. I think he’d get 1400 metres, but this is a tough 1200 metres here and he’s capable of running into the thick end of the prizemoney.”