Lochinvar Art continues countdown to Hunter Cup
by Adam Hamilton
Saturday night should be another walk in the park for Lochinvar Art.
Australia’s best pacer already looked a class above his Group 2 Shepparton Gold Cup rivals, but drawing the pole cemented it.
He’s $1.10 with the Aussie TAB in a seven-horse race where former Inter Dominion and Hunter Cup runner-up Our Uncle Sam (gate five) and talented comeback pacer Malcolms Rhythm (three) look next best.
Trainer-driver David Moran said Lochinvar Art was “pretty close to his top” for his first race of 2021. His last run was that stunning 30.5m Group 1 Vicbred final win on New Year’s Eve.
“He had a few days off after that last win and I said I’d play it by earn whether he ran this week or waited to Ballarat, but he’s ready to go,” he said.
“This will sharpen him up a bit and then he’s got Ballarat next week to top him off for the Hunter Cup (February 6).
“He’s had his share of bad draws in big races, so it’s great to have a couple of draws at his past two. Hopefully he keeps getting the good draws, especially come Hunter Cup and Miracle Mile time.”
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Rejuvenated trotting star McLovin headlines the feature trot at Shepparton when he backs-up from gate seven in the Group 3 George Gath. He’s one of three Andy and Kate Gath runners, Monaro Maro (three) and Majestic Courtney (five).
McLovin is going for four wins on end after his mighty Group 1 Maori Mile victory at Bendigo last Saturday night.
His baby half-brother, Havehorsewilltravel, is going for four wins from as many starts for Team Gath in the third race at Shepparton.
The Angus Hall gelding found the front and won well in the Cobram Trotters’ Cup last Sunday.
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Former classy Kiwi pacer Star Galleria continues his Hunter Cup preparation in the free-for-all at Menangle on Saturday night.
Driver Luke McCarthy was delighted with the gelding’s first run for trainer Craig Cross when he won easily, albeit in moderate time, at Menangle two weeks back.
Star Galleria will start from the outside gate, but should be further improved and looks a classy above his rivals with Cross’ other big guns not in the race.
On the same card, prepost Ladyship Mile favourite Bettor Enforce should be too classy from gate in a small but select Group 3 Ladyship Pace.
Classy Queenslander Pelosi is down to start her quest towards the Ladyship Mile and looks the main threat from gate five, while former WA mare Dracarys (two) and the talented Nostra Villa (four) add some class.
There will be plenty of interest in the opening race when last-start Breeders Crown 3YO winner Zeuss Bromac returns from a break to build towards the Chariots Of Fire.