By Adam Hamilton
HARNESS racing was the biggest loser from Lochinvar Art’s shock defeat at Ballarat.
The scene was set for massive mainstream media coverage around the an epic first clash between the still untapped Ride High and Lochinvar Art at Shepparton next Saturday night.
But there will be no clash, at least not next week.
Lochinvar Art did a power of work out from early from the back row surging forward and was beaten into third spot – 6.7m from Ride High’s stablemate Major Times – as a $1.10 favourite in the 2200m fast-class race at Ballarat last night.
The Chariots Of Fire winner pulled-up with mild lameness in his off-front leg and an elevated heart rate.
“I’ll get him fully vetted, check everything out, and we’ll go from there,” Lochinvar Art’s trainer-driver David Moran said on the way home from Ballarat.
“That was an interesting night wasn’t it … not what we all expected. He really had to work hard early, harder than I expected, but he wasn’t himself. He wanted to run about on the final bend.”
It was Lochinvar Art’s first defeat in four runs since his mighty second, after sitting parked, to King Of Swing in the Miracle Mile.
Now Ride High will surely stretch his record to 15 wins from 16 starts when he tackles the Shepparton free-for-all next Saturday night.
“We are definitely going to Shepparton,” trainer Clayton Tonkin said just hours before Lochinvar Art’s defeat. “Our boy is great, he’s come on again since that latest win.”