In-form Prebble finds the key to Lombardi
A strong ride from in-form Brett Prebble lifted Lombardi to a long overdue victory in the Hok Yuen Handicap (1,200m) for new trainer Ricky Yiu Poon-fai.
Lombardi had threatened to win since resuming with a bold second to Superior Unit at the start of the season but, after a string of fourth placings, the gelding was switched from trainer Peter Ho Leung to Yiu.
The move paid quick dividends, and Lombardi was able to shrug off his non-winner tag at his second start for the new stable - beating Supreme Knight by three quarters of a length, with a further three quarters of a length back to Danewin Tiger in third.
'The race panned out beautifully for Lombardi, I just wanted to ride him like the best horse in the race, and give him time to build his speed,' Prebble said.
'The day I beat him on Superior Unit has always stuck in my mind because he showed a good turn of foot, and if the apprentice (Ben So Tik-hung) hadn't made the mistake of trying to get up inside me he would have won.
'I watched his videos and decided that his best runs had been from off the pace, so I just wanted to get him to settle early because I knew he had enough ability to win in Class Four.'
Yiu was quick to praise Prebble's ride for helping lift Lombardi to his first victory, but also credited the cumulative drop in ratings over the PP gelding's career for enabling him to win in Class Four.
'It has no doubt been an advantage for him to drop down from Class Three back to Four, and Prebble found the key to riding him,' Yiu said.
'The pace was strong and so he was able to run home strong from the rear, just like he did when he finished second at the start of the season. My feeling is that he is also a timid horse and afraid to race close to other runners, so it suited him to swoop down the centre of the track like he did.'