Lochinvar Art set to tackle NZ Cup

AUSTRALIA’S most decorated pacer Lochinvar Art is being set for a New Zealand Cup raid.

The former Hunter and Victoria Cup hero is nearing a racetrack return and will trial again at Shepparton on Thursday night.

If he pleases caretaker trainer Rodney Lakey on Thursday, Lochinvar Art will go to the races for the first time since the Hunter Cup earlier this year.
Regular trainer-driver David Moran is due back from suspension on September 15 to take charge of Lochinvar Art again.

The Group 1 Victoria Cup is the first main target at Melton on October 8, but connections are very keen on crossing the ditch in between that race and the start of the Victorian Inter Dominion on November 26.

“It fits well,” Lakey said. “We’ll be able to get some racing into him before the Victoria Cup and then, if he’s where we hope, he could head across to NZ and have a couple of weeks after the Cup there before the start of the Inter Dominion.”

Connections are keen to do more than a hit-and-run raid on Addington for the Cup on November 8.

“Everyone says if you go, you’re better having a lead-up race over there,” Lakey said. “We’d look at something like the Ashburton race a couple of weeks before the Cup.

“The first thing is to get him back racing here, which should be in the next few weeks, and then we can start to lock in some plans.”

Lochinvar Art won his first trial back at Shepparton a couple of weeks ago, but he will be a lot fitter and sharper this week.

“He blew-up a lot after that,” Lakey said. “It showed he wasn’t quite as fit as we thought he was. He’s ready to get a lot more serious this week.

“No doubt this trial will bring him on even more.

“If he trials well and comes through it well, then we’ll look for a race.

“If not, we’ll probably back him up a week later for another trial before he goes back to the races.

“We’ve got time on our side to wait and see and still get a few runs into him before the Victoria Cup.”

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