Aussies set sights on Jewels

By Adam Hamilton

IT’S that time of year again.

Aussie trainers are starting to cast their mind towards possible NZ Harness Jewels raids.

And leading the way is Australia’s exciting three-year-old Lochinvar Art and trained Laura Crossland.

“We’re very keen,” she said. “He’s had no luck with draws all season and kept running big races.”

Lochinvar Art followed a third in the Victoria Derby with a third in the NSW Derby. Both from awful barriers.

“We’ve spoken with Darrin Williams and said how much we’d love the Aussie invite,” Crossland added.

Kiwi trainer Mark Jones and his Aussie partner, Aaron Goadsby, are just as keen to get an Aussie invite with their juvenile filly Lulu Le Mans, who followed a third against the boys in the Sapling Stakes with a second in the Pink Bonnet last Saturday night.

“She’s the right sort of filly and not really paid-up for anything else,” Goadsby said. “Ideally we’d get the invite early, take her to Auckland and race her in the Aussies colours in the lead-up races.”

Powerhouse trotting team Yabby Dams is considering four-year-old Amour De Frere for the Jewels.

Trainer Anton Golino said she was the right sort of mare with similar speed to stablemate Dance Craze, who finished a luckless third in last year’s Jewels 4YO mares’ trot. She went on to win the Group 1 Great Southern Star a few weeks back.

“Amour De Frere would be ideal if I can get her spot on, which can be a challenge. We’re definitely looking at it,” Golino said.

Amour De Frere made it seven wins from just 18 starts when she led throughout to win the Group 2 Breed For Speed Silver final at Melton in a slick 1min57.5sec mile rate for 1720m last Saturday night.

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