Timmy the One to Beat at Bathurst

24 March 2023

WHEN David Moran mentions the name Lochinvar Art while he’s assessing a horse, you stand up and take notice.

And that’s exactly what Moran did when asked about the potential of two-year-old Timmy Rictor ahead of Saturday night’s $150,000 Group 1 Bathurst Gold Crown final.

Lochinvar Art is the best pacer Moran’s had anything to do with and was Australasia’s top pacer at his primed, headlined by Hunter and Victoria Cup wins, before he had a small bleed last September and owner Kevin Gordon felt he was best suited to continue his career in the US.

It’s fitting in the week Lochinvar Art made it four wins from as many starts and scored his biggest win so far with Team Tritton in the US, that Moran teams up with Timmy Rictor at Bathurst.

“Lochinvar Art couldn’t have done what this horse did at his first start but, then again, not many two-year-olds could,” Moran said.

“He’s a bit like Lochinvar Art to drive in that it’s hard to gauge just how good they are. I wasn’t quite sure how good Lochinvar Art was until he just kept stepping up to every challenge.

“That’s what Timmy Rictor has ahead of him and it starts on Saturday.

“As amazing as he was winning his heat (last Friday night), it’s a lot harder field and he’s got what could be a tricky draw in the final.”

Timmy Rictor won his Gold Crown heat by an increasing 20.8m despite covering plenty of extra ground in a sizzling 1min54.9sec mile rate for 1730m. It was by far the quickest heat.

But drawing inside the back row (gate nine) over the short 1730m trip is far from ideal.

“I’m not quite sure how it will play out. I follow our Chart Topper, who I hope and think can hold them out and if that’s the case I could be behind the leader,” Moran said.

“If not, then I’ll have to try and angle off as soon as I can.

“It’s not where I’d have chosen to draw, but he probably wouldn’t have taken advantage of a front row draw so it’s not too bad.

“I’m sure Chart Topper will be sharper for the final and he’ll take some beating from the pole, while Soho Spectre just looks a ready-made two-year-old as his form suggests (three wins from as many starts) and he’ll be hard to beat even from outside the back row (gate 12).”

Moran doesn’t just drive Timmy Rictor, he owns the son of Modern Art, too.

Which will seem strange to some because although he’s terrific training in his own right, Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin trained Timmy Rictor.

“That came about because Clayton (Tonkin) and I were together at the Bathurst (yearling) sales last year and we both liked this guy. I said I’d buy him, but only if Clayton agreed to train him,” Moran said.

“I did the early work with him, but he had the last four or five weeks with Clayton and Emma.

“Clayton told me he loved him and that he was their best two-year-old before he won the (Bathurst) heat.”

Moran paid just $7000 and said there had been interest from potential buyers already.

“He’s already paid for himself and hopefully does even more this weekend,” he said.

“He’s created a lot of interest and despite how exciting he is, you have to think about selling anY horse for the right amount. I own him outright so it would be serious money.”

  • Adam Hamilton is a paid contributor writing on harness racing for News Corp.


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