Aussie News - 18 Jan
By Adam Hamilton
AUSTRALIA’S best pacer Lochinvar Art became a millionaire and equalled the track record, seemingly still in second gear winning Saturday night’s $60,000 Group 2 Shepparton Cup.
The $34,200 first prize took his career earnings to $1,020,756 with 26 wins and 19 placings from just 48 starts.
And Lochinvar Art’s blistering 1min56.1sec mile rate for 2690m equalled Im The Boss’ track record from three years ago.
Trainer-driver David Moran used the pole to lead easily, set a solid midrace tempo and rip home in 54.9 and 27.4sec to win by 14.2m.
Lochinvar Art will probably do much the same in next Saturday night’s Group 1 Ballarat Cup given the lack of NZ or interstate raiders.
So the focus is on his fourth clash with King Of Swing in the Hunter Cup at Melton on February 6.
Moran also has feature race hopes for his lightly-raced three-year-old Patsbeachstorm, who returned from a life-threatening illness and long spell with a sparkling Shepparton win.
The gelding won two of his first three starts, but hadn’t been to the races since a Bendigo win on March 31, last year.
Despite the long break and not having a trial, Patsbeachstorm led and zoomed away to win as he liked by 14.2m in a 1min55.6sec mile rate for 2190m.
“It’s great to get that out of the way because he vulnerable and will improve a heap from it,” Moran said.
“I’ve got a really good opinion of him and we’re aiming at the NSW Derby.”
Moran will be tempted to throw Patsbeachstorm into the big league for the $100,000 Group 1 VHRC 3YO Classic at Melton on January 30.
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A MELTON trial Monday night will decide the immediate racing future of ageing trotting superstar Tornado Valley.
Trainer Andy Gath admitted to being disappointed with the veteran’s first trial back at Melton last Wednesday.
So only a much-improved effort will see Tornado Valley back on target for a racetrack return a Ballarat on Saturday night and a possible defence of his Great Southern Star crown on February 5.
“We don’t have a lot of time on our side. This trial is really important,” Gath said.
“I was disappointed with his trial last week. I know they ran home quickly, but I expected more from him. He didn’t show his usual fight in the home straight.
“We won’t run him in Great Southern Star for the sake of it.”
So this trial is vital because the $30,000 Group 2 EB Cochran Cup at Ballarat was to be Tornado Valley’s only lead-up race for the Great Southern Star.
The nine-year-old hasn’t won a race since the Scotch Notch Memorial a Melton on March 21, last year and has only raced four times since.
In other stable news, it was another race and another easy win for McLovin’s baby half-brother Havehorsewill travel in Australia.
The five-year-old looked encouraging winning his first three runs for Andy and Kate Gath, but went to another level by “spacing” his rivals with a 14.3m win in the secondary trot at Shepparton on Saturday night.
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THE Chariots Of Fire remains a possibility for WA’s most exciting pacer Magnificent Storm.
The former Kiwi stretched his unbeaten WA record for trainer Ray Williams to 11 races when he sat parked and easily won the $50,000 Group 2 4YO Championship at Gloucester Park last Friday night.
Magnificent Storm’s task was made much easier when his main danger, WA Derby winner Patronus Star, copped a nasty flat tyre and was retired from the race after 400m.
Driver Aldo Cortopassi seized the moment on Magnificent Storm and worked around to sit parked outside the leader Al Guerrero and control he race.
Despite doing the work, Magnificent Storm cruised to the front rounding the final bend and ripped home in 56.4 and 28.1sec to win easily in a 1min54.9sec mile rate for 2130m.
“I’m pleased to get that one out of the way. It was three weeks between runs and he was a bit vulnerable, especially from the draw,” Williams said. “The run will improve him a lot for the next two big ones.
“The Golden Nugget (February 12) is Grand Final, but the owners have talked about going interstate. If he keeps winning, we’ll have to look at it.”
The Chariots Of Fire is just eight days after the Nugget, but victory in the Nugget would gain Magnificent Storm automatic entry into Sydney’s feature.
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STAR Galleria’s Hunter Cup tilt hit a snag when he was upstaged as a hot favourite in a Menangle free-for-all on Saturday night.
The former classy Kiwi cruised to victory at his first run for Craig Cross, but had to do all the work and was nabbed late by stablemate Motu Gatecrasher in a 1min51.5sec mile.
It turned into a real sprint home with closing splits of 54.4 and 27.1sec.
Earlier in the night, another recent Kiwi import Burnham Boy put himself into Chariots Of Fire contention with a fighting all-the-way in a 1min51.7sec mile.
The son of Bettors Delight won five of his 24 Kiwi starts before being bought by US owners Marc Hanover and Gordon Banks and switched to Tiger Tara’s trainer Kevin Pizzuto in NSW,
Burnham Boy’s won two of his three runs for Pizzuto and looks to be building nicely.
On the same card, Australia’s top mare Bettor Enforce showed why she dominates prepost betting for the Group 1 Ladyship Mile a Menangle with another dominant win.
First-up since November 30, Bettor Enforce who won 13 of her 25 starts last season and ran second in the Ladyship Mile, blazed home in 1min50.9sec mile.