Day At The Track

Miracle Mile start touch and go for champ

04:32 AM 22 Feb 2021 NZDT
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Lochinvar Art, Harness racing
Lochinvar Art and Trainer-Driver David Moran
Club Menangle Photo

The race for a start in the $1 million Miracle Mile will go right down to the wire for Australasia’s best harness racing pacer Lochinvar Art.

Trainer-driver David Moran admitted this would “be the hardest week of my career and of Lochinvar Art’s career as well.”

Lochinvar Art pulled a shoe and stepped on a nail late Friday morning, which forced his scratching from the $100,000 Group 1 Newcastle Mile that night.

The scratching earned Lochinvar Art a 10-day ban from racing, which meant he had no opportunity to contest a Miracle Mile qualifying race.

Emergency talks between Club Menangle and HRNSW created a lifeline for Lochinvar Art’s Miracle Mile hopes, with a clause stating any horse accepted in the final field of a qualifying race but unable to compete for extenuating circumstances was eligible for a Miracle Mile invitation.

The Miracle Mile is on Saturday week at Menangle, but Moran only has until this Saturday to prove Lochinvar Art’s fitness.

Club Menangle CEO Bruce Christison confirmed Lochinvar Art would not be invited to the Miracle Mile unless he proved his fitness in a public workout between races one and two at Menangle on Saturday night.

“We pick the field and the barriers are drawn Saturday, so that’s the cut-off,” he said.

Moran said Lochinvar Art’s hoof soreness had improved since Friday and he was growing in confidence his six-time Group 1 winner will recover in time.

“He was about 80 per cent Friday. It was better Saturday and is better again today, but we’ve still got some work to do,” he said.

“It’s hard to predict these things as hoof issues are tricky, but given the improvement since Friday, I’m pretty confident we’ll get him right in time.”

Moran said if Lochinvar Art recovered and worked at Menangle on Saturday, he would be given “a race-like” hitout.

“It has to be a really serious workout. I’m talking a 1min50sec mile or the like, with a galloping pacemaker,” he said.

“That’s not about anything he’s got to prove, but he’s going to need a hitout like that for his fitness.

“It’ll be a month between runs if he starts in the Miracle Mile and I’ve always been open in saying this horse thrives on hard racing and is better when he’s races are close together.”

Adam Hamilton

Reprinted with permission of Racenet

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