Out to reign: David Moran, pictured with his superstar Lochinvar Art, will be striving for Gold Crown glory at Bathurst tomorrow night with Lochinvar Chief.
Shepparton trainer David Moran will be trying to become the third Goulburn Valley trainer to win the Bathurst Gold Crown classic for two-year-old colts and gelding at Bathurst tomorrow night.
But Moran was still waiting to hear yesterday whether he can attend and drive at the meeting due to the coronavirus restrictions.
He returned to Victoria after the heats last Saturday night and left his horses at the stables of dual state trainer Amanda Turnbull.
‘‘If I’m not allowed to go back then Jarrod Alchin will drive my horses if the meeting goes ahead. He has driven them before,’’ Moran said.
If the meeting goes ahead Moran has Lochinvar Chief coming from barrier two in the $100 000 Gold Crown final for two-year-old colts and geldings.
If Lochinvar Chief wins, he’ll join the Jack brothers, David and Russell, as Goulburn Valley-based trainers on the Gold Crown honour roll.
Euroa-based David Jack won the feature in 2007 with Yrubla and Russell Jack was successful with Albert Terrill in 2004.
And Moran is upbeat about Lochinvar Chief’s chances.
He described the pacer’s barrier two draw as perfect for the 1730m trip with the prospect of leading.
Moran’s confidence also spiked further last Saturday night when Lochinvar Chief was the quickest of the six heat winners.
Lochinvar Chief skimmed over the 1730 mt rip in 1:55.2 mile rate time which was 0.9 quicker than the next quickest heat winner, fellow Victorian Idyllic, who has to overcome an extreme outside second row draw in the final.
Moran rates Tasty Delight, who has drawn barrier six, as the hardest to beat in the top field of youngsters.
Moran and fellow Shepparton trainer Dave Farrar have runners contesting the $25 000 consolation of the Gold Crown.
In the consolation Moran will be represented by If its to be its up tome, who made up impressive ground in his heat to finish fourth to Tasty Delight, while Farrar will gear up Leeton Breeders Plate winner The Kew Legend, who ran a big race in his heat to finish third.
The Kew Legend will come from barrier four and If its to be its up tome from barrier five over the 1730m trip.
Both look genuine place chances.
Meetings wiped out
Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) suspended Victorian trots meetings from Tuesday, including Wednesday night’s Shepparton meeting,
The action was taken after Harness Racing New South Wales (HRNSW) reported it had established that a participant at the Penrith meeting held on Thursday, March 19, had been in contact with a person now confirmed to have tested positive for COVID-19.
According to HRV chief executive Dayle Brown HRNSW suspended racing in that state pending the outcome of its investigations, including contact tracing.
“HRV took the precautionary step to suspend meetings while we investigate the implications for any
Victorian personnel who may have subsequently come into contact with at-risk individuals,’’ Brown said.
“Our position must always be to first protect the health and wellbeing of our participants and staff.
“We will advise further in due course.”
The suspension of trots meetings in Victoria was up to today, but a decision had not been reached yesterday whether meetings would continue from tomorrow night’s scheduled Melton meeting.
Shepparton-trained pacer Delightful Tara produced an upset win in the Group Three $30 000 Jodies Babe feature last Saturday night at Melton.
The Isabel Walsh-prepared and Josh Aiken-driven five-year-old daughter of Bettors Delight swamped her rivals, coming from last with 400 m to run with a powerful finishing burst to reel in her rivals one by one.
A 17/1 shot, it was the third time Delightful Tara has saluted at Melton for Walsh since she took over training the mare from leading Sydney mentors Craig Cross and Michael Doltoff.
Delightful Tara is building a good strike rate with 10 wins and 11 placings from 38 starts that have produced more than $94 000 in prizemoney earnings.
Promising pacer Reactor Now equalled a track record held by the outstanding pacer Bitobliss when completing a hat-trick of wins last week at Kilmore.
The four-year-old son of Auckland
Reactor scorched over the 1690 m in a 1:53.4 mile rate, equalling the record set by the Scott Stewart-trained and driven Bitobliss in October 2014.
Bitobliss won 24 of his 57 starts and more than $473 000 in prizemoney, so Reactor Now is in elite company equalling that record.
Trained by David Aiken and driven by his son Josh, Reactor Now got no favours in his latest win.
He was forced to race outside the pacesetter Rollecks until surging to the front 500 m from the judge and putting a huge gap on his rivals.
He cruised to the wire nearly 23 m clear of the runner-up, Ruby Delight.
Aiken has had the pacer for only four starts and after breaking in the run first-up at Cobram, won successive Shepparton races before stepping out at Kilmore.
Reactor Now is out of the USbred Western Ideal mare Whos Sorry Now, who was a winner and has left two other winners.
Lassie comes home
Reactor Now wasn’t the only Goulburn Valley-trained pacer to salute at Kilmore.
Another Avenel trainer, Juanita Breen, produced improving threeyear-old Yarrawonga Lassie for her second win in her past three starts and her third win.
Despite drawing wide off the front row Breen was able to usher Yarrawonga Lassie to the front early where she dictated terms and held off a host of challengers in the home straight.
By Heston Blue Chip out of the four times winning Million To One mare Leading Lady Lombo, Yarrawonga Lassie has had only 13 starts, three of these as a two-year-old.
She had also scored at Maryborough late last month.
Kima Frenning and David Aiken were the stars last week at Cobram with trebles.
One of Frenning’s winners, Kardesler, she trains herself, while Aiken and David Abrahams provided her other two winners, Secret Identity and Surfsup respectively.
Secret Identity kicked off the Frenning and Aiken trebles, settling three back on the marker pegs and switching three wide in the home straight to win in slick 1:54.7 mile rate time for the 1670 m trip.
A four year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere prepared by Abrahams, Surfsup registered his second win in 14 tries when he led throughout to claim the honours in a 48-53 class race over the 2170 m.
Surfsup had to absorb early and midrace challenges for the lead, but dug deep in the home stretch to hold out the fast finishing Renway Reactor.
American Ideal six-year-old gelding Kardesler completed the driving hat-trick for Frenning and made it three wins and two seconds in five starts under her tutoring when he outclassed his rivals in a 46-51 class race.
Aiken on a Roll
Apart from his win with Secret Identity at Cobram David Aiken also produced another two winners, Roll With It and Major Delico, at the meeting.
Impressive concession reinsman Ryan Sanderson produced a 10-out-of-10 drive to get the chocolates with Roll With It, who zipped over the 1670 m trip in slick 1:55 mile rate time.
It is the third time in the son of Rock N Roll Heaven’s last seven starts Sanderson has driven Roll With It to victory.
The seven-year-old boasts a record of 15 wins and 10 placings and more than $121 000 in prizemoney from 53 starts.
Major Delico made it three wins in his past five outings with a tough win.
He was up to the challenge of racing outside the speed for the trip for driver Josh Aiken.
Majestic in front
Veteran trotter The Majestic went 18 starts without a win, but has now won two of his past three outings.
A winner at Wangaratta on March 8 The Majestic repeated the dose last week at Cobram.
In his latest win at tote odds of 18/1 the John Newberry-trained and driven 10-year-old son of Monarchy held on by a head to deprive the Cameron Maggstrained Lunchwitharthur his fourth successive win.
The Majestic settled three back in the run, went to the death seat going down the back the last time before surging to the front on the home turn and then holding off the challengers in the run to the judge.
It was his 154th start which have produced 14 wins and 38 placings and more than $108 000 in prizemoney.
Scorching hot again
Pacer Im Scorching ended a twoyear drought from the winner’s circle when he saluted last week at Cobram.
The Jeff Gledhill-trained son of Art Major’s previous win was at Yarra Valley in March 2018 when prepared by Josh Aiken.
Im Scorching was having his 12th start for Gledhill which have produced six top four finishes so the win was well deserved.
The second outsider in a field of five, reinsman Josh Duggan gave Im Scorching the run of the race on the back of the pacemaker, The Spin Professor, and finished a little stronger.
Shaka things up
Some district-trained pacers are chasing feature races tomorrow night at Melton.
Smart Kyabram-trained trotting mare Andyou tackles the Group Three Carlottas Pride Trotters Free For All, while Shepparton mentor Russell Jack is chasing the IRT Australia Shakamaker Classic for twoyear-olds with Major Angel. Major Angel has drawn the pole. Amanda Turnbull is also chasing the Shakamaker Classic with Captaintreacherous colt Captain Oh Captain.
Today: Maryborough (d), Geelong (n).
Tomorrow: Melton (n).
Sunday: Charlton (d).
Monday: Cranbourne (n).
Tuesday: Mildura (d).
Wednesday: Stawell (d), Shepparton (n).
Thursday: Bendigo (n).