Mark Purdon hails Arty in Hunter Cup lead-up

As Lochinvar Art charges towards Hunter Cup victory on Saturday night, and an amazing sixth Group 1 win in the past 13 months, comparisons with the greats of the sport are growing.

Champion Kiwi horseman Mark Purdon, who has trained a long list of champions, is an unabashed fan of Lochinvar Art.

“He first really made me stand-up and take notice just over a year ago when beat Self Assured on his merits and ran that incredible time in the 4YO Bonanza,” Purdon said.

“I then had my chance to beat him in the Chariots, but he dug-in and wouldn’t let Self Assured get past him.

“He’s gone from strength to strength since and seems to be still on the up.

“David (Moran, trainer-driver) deserves a lot of credit because he used to get a bit keen in his races early, but he’s taught him to relax and it’s been a big part of his improvement. He just goes to sleep outside the leader.

“If he keeps going the way he is, he’ll deserve a spot alongside the champions of recent times.”

With no Inter Dominion last year, Australian harness racing’s big three is the Victoria Cup, Hunter Cup and Miracle Mile.

Lochinvar Art broke the track record winning the Victoria Cup on October 10, and is a $1.30 favouirte to add the Hunter Cup to it. It will also be a clear favourite for the Miracle Mile if he continues on his winning way.

Champion driver Chris Alford is another huge Lochinvar Art fan.

“He’s the best by a long way at the moment and still looks to be getting better,” he said.

“He’s only just turned five. If he stays sound and keeps going the way he is, he could win the next two Hunter Cups, next two Miracle Miles and Inter Dominions as well.”

Alford’s driven pacing champs Golden Reign and Lennytheshark.

“He reminds me most of Lennytheshark because he’s got the strength, but the amazing speed as well. It really doesn’t matter how he’s driven he can win, but because they’re the best horse in the race most times, you put them right into the action to dictate the terms.”

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