Aussie News - Bathurst Wrap

By Adam Hamilton

The next couple of days will decide whether Australia’s best three-year-old heads to the Harness Jewels.

The Jewels invite was fairly and squarely offered to connections of Lochinvar Art after his powerhouse win in last night’s $104,000 Group 1 Bathurst Gold Chalice win.

“We want him. He’s a star and that was one heck of a win,” HRNZ’s Darrin Williams said. “I text Laura (Crossland, co-trainer) to congratulate her and David (Moran) and assure them the Jewels spot was theirs if they wanted it.”

Crossland and Moran will weigh-up options, which include the NSW Breeders Challenge, before deciding later this week whether to accept the Jewels invite.

While awful draws have hurt Lochinvar Art all season – albeit he’s still be placed in the Victoria and NSW Derbys – he made light of another poor draw last night.

Punters got $2 because Lochinvar Art was drawn inside the back row and his main rivals, Shoobee Doo had gate five.

But it didn’t matter.

Lochinvar Art won by 12.3m in a 1min54.5sec mile rate for 2260m. He ran his last 1200m in 1min25.1sec and closed in 56.1 and 28 flat.

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JUST over a year ago the Lee clan won the Chariots Of Fire with Jilliby Kung Fu.

Sadly injuries have stopped him making an impact since, but they have found their next star.

The appropriately-named Jilliby Nitro – by Bettors Delight out of Kiewa Valley – looks very special.

Trained by Marg Lee and driven by her son, Jason, Jilliby Nitro blasted out to lead in a slick opening quarter from the outside draw, copped plenty of midrace pressure, but just kept rolling.

The colt powered to a 4.1m win in a sizzling 1min53.8sec mile rate for 1730m to take his record to three wins from as many starts.

“We’ve always liked him. It was a late decision to bring him here, but we didn’t come from the experience,” Jason Lee said.

“Now it’s onto the Australian Gold.”

That will mean another interstate trip with Brisbane hosting the crunch stage of this year’s Gold for colts and geldings.

Jewels possible Major Bob (seventh) and Mistery Road (ninth) were both well held and suffered their first defeats.

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THE story of the night came with Michelle Lee Mac’s $100,000 Group 1 Gold Tiara win for two-year-old fillies.

The pint-sized daughter of Bettors Delight is co-trained and driven by Colin McDowell, who his first and only other Bathurst Gold Tiara final with Loves A Dance back in 1987. It was the first even Tiara final.

The filly is named after McDowell’s daughter Michelle.

Michelle Lee Mac looked in an awkward spot early when crossed from gate three and shuffled to three pegs.

But when McDowell saw daylight, the filly unleashed a huge finishing burst then held off a late surge from Eye Can Run to win in a 1min56.9sec mile rate for 1730m.

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A TYPICALLY daring front-running Toddy McCarthy drive helped No Win No Feed dominate the $104,000 Gold Bracelet final for three-year-old fillies.

McCarthy took the Craig Cross-trained filly straight to the front from gate five and kept rolling.

Favourite Brookyns Best moved around midrace to stake her claims, but never looked a chance and tired late for third.

No Win No Feed cleared out to win by 12.5m in a 1min55.5sec mile rate for 2260m.

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