Lochinvar Art's upset win over Self Assured

SO it turns out Lochinvar Art’s upset win over Self Assured in the 4YO Bonanza at Melton was anything but a fluke.

And the horse who was a “bridesmaid” through so many big races last season, is now a rock star in his own right.

Lochinvar Art sat parked, with Self Assured stalking him, and won Australasia’s top four-year-old race.

There was nothing wrong with Self Assured’s run, but he was beaten by a better horse on the night.

Somehow, due in part to a couple of gallopers on his inside, Mark Purdon was able to land one-by-one on Self Assured behind his main danger.

But trainer David Moran drove Lochinvar Art to perfection, believing he could blast past the leader, Demon Delight, whenever he wanted and knowing Self Assured was on his back.

So Moran saved as much as he could for a blistering last 400m, which he ran in 25.5sec and did enough to hold-off Self Assured by a head in a 1min50.1sec mile.

The clock says Self Assured also went super, but if anyone told you pre-race he’d land one-one from the outside draw and get beaten, you’d have laughed at them.

What’s in no doubt is the leap Lochinvar Art has made from last season to this.

He looks the one Australia has been waiting for and needing.

And he looks to have all the weapons needed to give Saturday week’s $1 million Miracle Mile a mighty shake.

Self Assured will get his chance for revenge in the Miracle Mile as well.

Lochinvar Art’s win continued the fantastic recent record of Victorians in the Chariots Of Fire, having won the past three (Poster Boy, 2019 and Jilliby Kung Fu, 2018).

** ** ** **

STAR Kiwi pair Dr Susan and Stylish Memphis ran the quinella in last month’s Victoria Oaks and look on target to repeat the dose in next Saturday’s NSW Oaks.

Both won their heats with absolute ease and in quick time at Menangle last night.

Stylish Memphis went by far the quickest – a blistering 1min53.8sec mile rate for 2300m – but it was set-up by the almost out-of-control leader Soho Gloria Jean, while Stylish Memphis just camped on her back.

Mark Purdon took her to the front turning for home and the Mark Jones and Benny Hill-trained filly coasted to the wire under her own steam to win by 12.3m.

Dr Susan balanced-up early and gradually worked her way to the front before “walking” a 32sec first quarter of the last mile before stepping-up for the last three splits in 28.4, 27.1 and 27.2sec.

Driver Anthony Butt simply kept Dr Susan’s mind on the job as she cruised to a 7.9m win in driving rain and a 1min55.8sec mile rate.

The last of the three heats went to star Victorian filly Maajida, who defied a huge betting drift ($1.30 to $2.20) to lead throughout and win easily.

The Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin-trained filly balanced-up from a wide draw then worked to the front and dawdled through the middle stages for driver Greg Sugars.

She cruised to victory in a cosy 1min57.5sec mile rate for 2300m from another Victorian, Our Beaujolais, who made a midrace move to sit parked. The closing splits were 54.2 and 26.5sec.

“She just needs racing. She was still short of her best going into that, so it’ll bring her on again,” Tonkin said.

** ** ** **

THAT was quite some way for Our Princess Tiffany to resurrect her Ladyship Mile tilt.

Just eight days after fibrillating when down the track at Addington, the All Stars barn still sent her to Sydney and the duly delivered.

Despite doing most of the work, Our Princess Tiffany kept finding and staved-off fellow Kiwis Bettors Heart and Havtime to win in a career-best 1min49.9sec mile.

“After she showed no ill-effects from last week, we pushed ahead with bringing her across and she’s been great since she got here,” Mark Purdon said. “She was back feeling her best tonight, but the run will bring her on again for the Ladyship.”

It was a lovely Purdon drive, staying out of the early burn (a 26.6sec opening quarter) then making a midrace move to get the spot outside the leader, Speak No Evil.

Bettors Heart ran a bottler and loomed strongly on the home bend, but Our Princess Tiffany rallied strongly under Purdon’s urging to win well in a 54.6sec last half.

WA raider Our Alfie Romeo drew the outside, came from last, albeit with a three-wide trail home, and caught the eye late by finishing a close fourth.

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