Zac Spain reunites with G1 winner

Jockey Zac Spain has enjoyed a fruitful association with Lombardo and is looking forward to reuniting with the sprinter at Moonee Valley

The Mick Price and Michael Kent Jnr-trained sprinter provided Spain with his second Group 1 victory when successful in The Goodwood at Morphettville last year.

With C F Orr Stakes winner Streets Of Avalon recently retired, Lombardo takes over as the flag-bearer for Spain who will ride the gelding in the Listed Abell Stakes (1200m) on Saturday.

Lombardo has only had two starts since his Goodwood success last year, finishing last in the Listed Regal Roller Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield last spring and when ninth behind Artorius in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Randwick on March 4.

Spain did not travel to Sydney to partner Lombardo last start but was aboard the gelding in a Cranbourne jump-out leading up to that assignment.

“I thought he trialled well behind Passive Aggressive who came out and won in Sydney and is a very good horse,” Spain said.

“We’ve drawn a little bit tricky on Saturday, but he will be up near the speed somewhere I would think, and he can make his own luck.

“Hopefully he can bounce back coming back to Melbourne and getting back on top of the ground.”

Spain said the soft track was not to Lombardo’s liking in Sydney adding the gelding will enjoy firmer footing on Saturday.

“He’s won there before and if he can find his old form, he’ll be right there in the money,” Spain said.

“I’m hoping getting back on a good surface and I would have like to have drawn a little bit better, but unfortunately, we’ve got to deal with the barrier than we’ve got.”

Price and Kent Jnr have elected to take the blinkers off Lombardo’s race day gear with the intention of riding him a little quieter.

If Lombardo performs up to expectations, the gelding may return to Moonee Valley on March 24 for a shot at the Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m).

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