September 26, 2020 Paul Courts
ALTHOUGH a decision is yet to be made, it is “highly unlikely” Lochinvar Art will race again before the Victoria Cup.
Set to be run twice in the same season for the first time, the Cup is scheduled to be conducted at Tabcorp Park Melton in a fortnight.
The Grand Circuit event has been staged in the same calendar year on two occasions – 2003 and 2017.
The doubling up this season stems from the term being extended from its customary August 31 finish to a December 31 end as a result of the Corona virus pandemic.
Speaking after Lochinvar Art’s exhilarating triumph in Melton tonight, trainer David Moran explained he is leaning towards bypassing next weekend’s Smoken Up Sprint at the same venue.
“I will see how he is during the next couple of days but it is highly unlikely he will go around again next week,” Moran said.
“He raced last week then tonight, so if he goes around again next week and then the Cup, its four runs in as many weeks, with next week likely to be a tough run.
“I’m leaning towards keeping him fresh for the Cup, but like I said, I will wait and see how he gets through tonight.”
With Moran in the cart, Lochinvar Art was given time to settle into his stride from his second row draw as Im Sir Blake led from barrier three.
After a fair bit of coaxing from Kerryn Manning, Zannart worked to the lead during the middle stages before being eased to take a trail behind Cruz Bromac as Lochinvar Art was taken to the ‘death seat’.
Powering his way to the front around the final bend, the son of Modern Art completed a strong nine-and-a-half metre win from Tam Major, with Out To Play a half-neck away third.
“He felt enormous tonight…I couldn’t be happier with him,” Moran said. “He had it won a long way out and went to the line as he pleased.”
Rating 1:54.7 over 2240 metres, the four-year-old provided Moran with the opening leg of a driving double.
Although they will be ‘frenemies’ on Cup night, Moran partnered the Emma Stewart-trained Loorrim Lake to a soft win in the following event.
Scoring from Sonny Weaver and Mirragon, the son of Roll With Joe rated 1:55.2 for the 2240-metre trip.
Stewart co-trains Cup favourite Ride High with her partner Clayton Tonkin.
Stewart and Tonkin also prepare Tam Major and Out To Play.
“That was a nice pick up drive,” Moran said. “He did it pretty easily and gave the feeling of a handy type.”