Troubled pacing superstar Lochinvar Art will continue his racing career in North America.
After five days of deliberation, owner Kevin Gordon confirmed the $1.4 million-earner was booked a direct flight from Sydney to Chicago on October 5.
Lochinvar Art, who had a minor bleed after last Saturday night’s Gammalite Free-For-All at Melton, will continue his Aussie connection with Gordon retaining full ownership and former Aussie pair Shane and Lauren Tritton taking over training.
“When he had the small bleed last Saturday night, I decided it was either retirement or a move to the US and I still think he’s got what it takes so he’s off the US,” Gordon said.
“I’ve spoken to a lot of top horsemen who said it would’ve been too hard to try and continue racing him here. He would’ve needed his runs spaced and that would’ve ruled out races like the Inter Dominion and Miracle Mile.
“He would’ve been relegated to basically just a Saturday night free-for-all horse at Melton and that’s beneath a horse as great as him.”
The fact US rules allow for Lochinvar Art to race on the anti-bleeding agent Lasix is a game changer.
“It’s a different world and means he will be able to compete on level terms over there and get the chance to get back to his very best form,” Gordon said.
Gordon, a proud Novocastrian, said a long connection to Lauren Tritton opened the door for her and husband, Shane, to train Lochinvar Art in the US.
“Lauren and Shane are Novocastrians like me. I’ve known Lauren for a long time. Her first metropolitan Saturday winner as a junior driver came on a horse I owned, called Our Crown Law,” Gordon said.
“Whether they are the best trainers over there, who knows, but I think they’re up with the best.
“I know them, I trust them and I can be sure they’ll do the right thing by a horse who is very special to me and so many other people.”
Shane Tritton said from his New York stables: “We’re privileged to be part of it. It’s all happened very quickly and we’re so excited.
“There are so many examples of good horses coming across here, getting a bit of help and doing fantastic things. Hopefully it’s the same with Lochinvar Art.”
Former trainer-driver David Moran is understandably upset with Gordon’s decision.
“I get that, I understand it. It’s been a tough time for David with his seven-month suspension, then the day before it ends and he’s got back into things, Lochinvar Art has a bleed and this happens,” Gordon said.
“David’s had a lot on his plate. Of course, he would’ve been looking forward to getting back with ‘Arty’, but last Saturday night changed things and we have to do what’s right for the horse now. He’s been so good to us.”
Lochinvar Art has raced 56 times for 28 wins, 22 placings and banked $1,405,516.
His biggest wins came in the 2021 Hunter Cup and 2020 Victoria Cup. He also ran second in the 2020 Miracle Mile.
* Adam Hamilton is a paid contributor writing on harness racing for News Corp
Originally published as Owner confirms US move for harness racing superstar Lochinvar Art