Day At The Track

Lochinvar Art, Imsettogo dance in the rain

09:19 AM 23 Aug 2020 NZST
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Lochinvar Art,Harness racing
Lochinvar Art

Somehow the stars broke through the chilling rain to shine brightly at Bendigo tonight, with Lochinvar Art reaffirming his status and a new mare on the block rattling the trotting ranks.

Imsettogo was one of the few Yabby Dam Racing Trot competitors without a Group 1 beside her name but that didn’t stop her leaving a host of heavy-hitters in her wake to land the biggest win of her short career.

It came just 30 mins after David Moran’s fellow four-year-old regained his status at the head of affairs among the pacers with a handsome win in the Simonds Homes Bendigo Pace, with Lochinvar Art dispelling any doubts from his previous surprise loss.

“He bounced back this week. He had a couple of little hiccups after Ballarat and he rectified them, so he will take a fair bit out of tonight. It was very good,” Moran told Trots Vision.

“He was a different horse tonight. When I got outside the leader he travelled really good and liked to eyeball them a little bit. Last week I knew I was in trouble about the 600-700, when Jodi (Quinlan on Major Times) got outside me he never picked up the bit at all.”

Tonight’s race was almost the inverse of the previous start, when Lochinvar Art spent energy early to find the front and was then beaten into submission by Quinlan and Major Times in the breeze.

On this occasion it was Major Times who set off first, but Quinlan needed much of the first lap to advance from the back row to the front and as soon as she did Lochinvar Art was on her hip for the trip home.

By the time they reached the final straight Lochinvar Art had the race sorted, eventually winning by 10.5 metres off a 55.9-second last half, with Rocknroll Icon narrowly beating his former stablemate Major Times for second.

“I did it last week at Ballarat and Jodi did it tonight, they’re tricky races to look at on paper,” Moran said. “At Ballarat when you looked at the front row you’d think there’d be an early burn to a degree and then the front would be there for me or Major Times.

“And tonight was the same sort of thing. I wasn’t sure what Jodi was going to do, but I wasn’t going to try and do it again after he had that little issue. Jodi (went forward) and I thought she’d find the front pretty easy, and she had to do a lot of work. Sometimes these races are a little hard to gauge.”

Lochinvar Art’s 18th win would have been a satisfying result for Moran, who said while he “wasn’t too worried about getting beat last (start), that’s racing, that happens … there was more pressure heading into this week considering he missed a few days and he was going to need the run”.

However, “it worked out good” and now he looks forward to more racing and a crack at the Pryde’s EasiFeed Victoria Cup, scheduled for October 10.

“We will take it week by week, there’s nothing set in stone just yet,” he said. “We will keep him healthy, keep him racing and play it by ear.”

There will also be lofty targets in the path of Imsettogo after Anton Golino’s Used To Me trotter, a big half-sister to two-time Group 1 winner Im Ready Jet, again showed her outstanding pace to win the headline trot, which was sponsored by her own Yabby Dam Racing stable.

Reinsman Darby McGuigan said the mare would likely tackle November’s Breeders Crown and December’s Vicbred Super Series, and after toppling the heads of state in the trotting ranks tonight the open-class Group 1s must also be in the frame.

“She’s going to have to match it with them all the time now, but she’s only a four-year-old mare,” McGuigan told Trots Vision. “A Vicbred or the Breeders Crown when they come around are definitely right up her alley.”

It was a mixed result for Golino’s camp with their star first-up mare Dance Craze blazing from the gate only to break stride and giving ground to the entire field.

That enabled Sundons Courage to successfully make a play for the front, with Imsettogo tagging onto his back.

“It worked out good,” McGuigan said. “I knew that Sundons Courage was going to be an all right one to sit behind because he wouldn’t hand up. It left Tornado Valley out there doing the work and Wobelee was going to have to come from behind.

“Because she follows speed so good it was just the perfect spot to be. (She) felt incredible and obviously finished off really well.”

Wobelee was three-wide for the last half of the lap and loomed likely at the turn before being upstaged by Imsettogo’s fresh legs and turn of speed, with Red Hot Tooth (third) and Dance Craze (fourth) crashing the line as the mares filled three of the first four placings.

Tornado Valley looked to pull prior to and throughout the race and would ultimately run sixth on his race return, proving a handful for reinswoman Kate Gath.

There were no such worries for McGuigan.

“(Imsettogo’s) a beautiful trotter, just so smooth in her gate,” he said. “I think personally a good trotter like that is just the greatest thing to drive and the best feeling. Driving one like her is just awesome.”


HRV - Michael Howard

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