Day At The Track

Lochinvar Art vs Ride High on cards

05:49 PM 05 Aug 2020 NZST
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Lochinvar Art,Harness racing
Lochinvar Art
Stuart McCormick photo

A first superstar showdown between Ride High and Lochinvar Art appears set for August 15, with both camps bookmarking the Shepparton race night.

Ride High’s fortnightly forays on to the racing scene are becoming the stuff of legend as Clayton Tonkin’s Ballarat beast continues to leave rivals in his wake and the clock quivering, most recently with a breathtaking 1:49.0 mile rate at Bendigo last Saturday.

The asterix next to claims of him being Australia’s best pacer has been the absence of Grand Circuit rivals, but Lochinvar Art looks set to change that with trainer-driver David Moran orchestrating a heavyweight bout in 10 days.

His Shepparton star returned by cruising to a win on his home deck on July 25 and will be second-up at Ballarat this Saturday night.

Moran told Sky Racing’s In The Gig he tuned into Ride High’s record-breaking Bendigo run and said he “was awesome”.

“It’s a pretty big build up for when they do meet,” Moran said. “We are trying not to plan too far ahead. We will get Ballarat out of the way Saturday night and then possibly go to Shepparton the following week – I think Clayton was pretty keen to do the same (night).”

While Moran said there was plenty of water to go under the bridge before fields were finalised next Tuesday, he said “a great clash” between “two great horses” was on the cards.

“It’s going to be pretty awesome to watch,” he said. “Shepparton is down for a mile race, it’s going to make it very interesting.

“We have got to draw outside of him, we will just see what happens when the time comes, and have a look at the nominations and go from there. And also see how he pulls up from Ballarat, but he seems really good at the moment, so it’s a little bit exciting.”

Tonkin has flagged August 15 as Ride High’s next hit-out, with both top-line pacers building towards the Pryde’s EasiFeed Victoria Cup on October 10.

Confidence is certainly high in the camp, only further fuelled by the extraordinary Bendigo performance.

“(Ride High’s) great for the industry because he is an excitement machine,” Tonkin told In The Gig.

“I still think he’s got a little bit more left to season him up a little bit. The times he’s running, it’s crazy to think that he can run them times and do it so easy.”

Tonkin said Ride High had “missed a fair bit of racing” and the stable “will definitely make up for it now and get after some good races”.

“He’s a beautiful race horse, great speed, he’s everything you want in a great horse. He’s next level.”


HRV - Michael Howard

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