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    Raiders dominate semi-finals Raiders dominate semi-finals

    LOCHINVAR ART - Photo Ashlea Brennan

    INTERSTATE raiders dominated tonight’s New South Wales Breeders’ Challenge semi-finals for two-year-old colts and geldings at Tabcorp Park Menangle. Making the trip across the... Raiders dominate semi-finals

    INTERSTATE raiders dominated tonight’s New South Wales Breeders’ Challenge semi-finals for two-year-old colts and geldings at Tabcorp Park Menangle.

    Making the trip across the Murray for the qualifiers, Lochinvar Art and Hardhitter proved too good for their local rivals, setting the scene for an intriguing Final.

    The Group One decider is scheduled to be run at the same venue on July 1.

    Top reinsman Luke McCarthy who drove both winners has already declared he will partner Lochinvar Art in the Final.

    Beginning quickly from barrier three, Lochinvar Art gained the run of the race behind Animal, which showed brilliant speed to lead from gate seven.

    Angled away from the pegs on the home turn, the son of Modern Art sprinted to a soft nine-metre win from Rainbow Comet, with Mach Le More a metre away third.

    “I’m stoked with his run,” trainer Laura Crossland said. “He just keeps getting better with every run and did it very easily tonight.

    “Luke will stay with him, which is terrific as no one knows Menangle better than Luke.

    “At this stage I am in two minds whether to leave him there until the Final or bring him home.

    “It’s pretty wet here so he can’t really go to the paddock, but less travelling if he stays settled there.

    “I’ll give it some thought over night and make a decision tomorrow.”

    Covering the mile in 1:55.4, Lochinvar Art’s time was 2.7 seconds slower than Hardhitter.

    Dashing to the front from gate six, Hardhitter completed a two-and-a-half metre win from Muscle Factor, with Shoobee Doo a head away third.

    Prepared by premier horsewoman Emma Stewart, the son of Mach Three extended his record to three wins and a second from five starts.

    Hardhitter’s second was behind Lochinvar Art in their heat!

    “That was a nice run from him,” Stewart said. “As his record shows, he is a nice two-year-old and he is more than capable of winning the Final.

    “He won’t do anything special between now and then, just be kept ticking along.”

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    Paul Courts

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