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Shepp News 17-02-22

Lochinvar Art pipped at post

Shepparton News

In terms of winning it wasn’t quite the fairytale comeback by local hero Lochinvar Art, but he certainly lost no admirers in finishing a gallant second in Saturday night’s $60,000 Shepparton Gold Cup.

The David Moran-trained and driven six-year-old, who started a $1.90 favourite, was eased to the rear of the field from his wide front row barrier draw at the start before making a move to outside the pacemaker Mach Da Vinci for the last lap in the gruelling 2690m marathon.

He kicked clear turning for home only to be run down in the shadows of the post by the NSW raider Spirit Of St Louis who was coming off a Bendigo Cup win the previous Saturday night.

Just for a moment entering the home bend it looked like another Shepparton pacer was going to give the cup a mighty shake, when the Steve O’Donoghue-Bec Bartleytrained and Blake Jones-driven Western Sonador, a 40/1 shot, loomed up menacingly from near the tail of the field to temporarily challenge Lochinvar Art.

He couldn’t sustain the burst, but battled on gamely to edge out the veteran NSW-trained campaigner Our Uncle Sam for third place.

Given the winner rated a track record 1:55.6 which sliced 0.5 seconds off the previous mark of 1:56.1 set by the David Aiken-trained The Boss in 2018 and Lochinvar Art in winning the race last year, it was no wonder Moran was happy with his champion’s run, particularly first-up over the marathon trip.

‘‘Yes, I was very happy with how he went. Maybe I overdrove him a bit, but he put in a big run,’’ Moran said.

Yesterday morning Moran reported Lochinvar Art had pulled up ‘‘slightly jaded’’ from the run and he would delay a decision on whether to back up in this Saturday night’s Ballarat Cup or give him the extra week’s break to prepare for his defence of the Hunter Cup in a fortnight.

The hard luck story of the race was the Andy Gath-prepared second favourite Tango Tara.

He had the sit on the pacemaker Mach Da Vinci, but was dragged back through the field when that pacer compounded badly in the back straight in the final lap.

Punters surprisingly were a bit hesitant to support the winner Spirit Of St Louis, an impressive all-theway winner of the Bendigo Cup the previous week for leading Sydney trainer Belinda McCarthy and young gun reinsman Jack O’Callaghan.

He paid a handsome $5.50 for the win.

The other two features on the card were won by hot favourites.

The Gath-trained speedster Majestuoso accounted for the fast finishing veteran Sundons Courage in the Derby Royale Trotters FreeFor-All, while the Julie Douglasprepared and Glenn Douglas-driven Interest Free got up in the final few strides to beat the Moran-prepared Lochinvar Jag in the Graham Head Memorial Pace for three-year-old pacers.

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