By Adam Hamilton
Australia’s two most exciting pacers Ride High and Lochinvar Art are on target to clash for the first time at Bendigo on August 1.
Ride High made it three wins from as many starts this campaign when he cruised to his 13th win from just 14 lifetime runs at Ballarat over the weekend.
“He just does it in second gear. There’s no need for him to open up, it’s scary that we haven’t done that yet,” driver Kima Frenning told Trots Vision. “He knows exactly what he’s doing. It’s very exciting. He’s getting sharper and sharper each run.
Ride High cruised around in a 1min53.6sec mile rate for 1710m to win by 13.5m, but he grabbed another record with his 53.4sec last half (26.9/26.5) slicing a significant 0.5sec off the previous best set by Wrappers Delight in a heat of the 2018 Inter Dominion series.
Trainer Clayton Tonkin said he wants to “run Ride High every fortnight” in the build-up to the Victoria Cup, which is slated for October 10 pending the impact of Victoria’s second wave of COVID.
Lochinvar Art’s return from a short spell also fits the Bendigo meeting.
Trainer-driver David Moran gave the four-year-old two Shepparton runs for two easy wins in April/May, which came after a short break following his mighty second in the Miracle Mile on March 7.
Two weeks before the Miracle Mile, Lochinvar Art dominantly won the Group 1 Chariots Of Fire at Menangle.
“He’s going to trial this week and then he’s off to the races,” Moran said. “I’m really happy with how he’s come back. He didn’t have long out so he’s come to hand quickly.
“I know I’ll probably have to race Ride High first-up, but that’s OK by me.
“He’s a great horse, they’re two great horses, it’ll be fantastic for the sport when they clash and hopefully it’ll be the first of many clashes.”
Moran conceded beating Ride High first-up would be a real challenge.
“He’s the sort of horse who thrives on racing, his record shows that. Whatever he does first-up, he’ll just keep getting better which each run after that,” he said.
Before Ride High’s stunning racetrack return, Lochinvar Art was the horse on everybody’s lips.
As sublime as Ride High has looked, his times winning his first two runs back at Melton were very slick, but well outside Lochinvar Art’s 1min48.6sec track record for 1720m.
Lochinvar Art posted the almost unthinkable time when won the Group 1 4YO Bonanza, beating young Kiwi stars Self Assured, on January 25.