McKay leads race to Karaka Million

Antonio Lombardo strengthened his position at the top of the 2011 Karaka Million Order of Entry table with a win in the 100% Barrells 2YO (880m) at Ruakaka on Saturday.

The Pins colt was second to Alvesta in the Danfive @ Grangewilliam 800 at Wanganui earlier this month and followed up with a convincing three-length victory ahead of French Connection (Volksraad).

Antonio Lombardo (2c Pins – Petit Verdot by Carnegie) has built on a strong start to the two-year-old season for trainer Peter McKay who also prepares Alvesta.  McKay has Alvesta on track for a two-year-old race at Caulfield in October because the talented General Nediym colt is not eligible for the Karaka Million.

McKay bought Antonio Lombardo for $120,000 out of the Trelawney Stud draft at the 2010 NZB Karaka Premier yearling sale.  He is from a sister to G1 Victoria Derby winner Amalfi (Carnegie).  

Antonio Lombardo heads a list of five two-year-olds with prizemoney in the fight to make the 14 horse Karaka Million field.  He leads French Connection (Volsraad), Perfect Katch (Perfectly Ready), Ellatain (Captain Rio) and Fort Lincoln (Charge Forward).

The 2011 Karaka Million will take place at Ellerslie on Sunday, January 30.