The happiest man at the Caulfield races on the 7th of January  was undoubtedly Justin Lovatt, proud owner and breeder of terrific galloper Burning Front who was back to his best recording a dominant victory in heat 8 of the Swettenham Stud Summer Championship.

Hard fit at his fifth run for the campaign, the Darren Weir trained chestnut was always travelling sweetly for Ben Allen and after looming up four wide at the turn he was able to quickly put his rivals away – his half length win a soft one with a big gap to the third horse.

It was win number 12 for the tough and courageous gelding who has amassed over $650,000 in stakes – over $82,000 of which has been VOBIS bonuses in addition to big-time prizemoney earned through two major VOBIS Gold Premier Races series wins.

And Lovatt is looking forward to hopefully taking home more of the lucrative breeders scheme dollars when Burning Front heads to Moonee Valley for the $130,000 VOBIS Gold Star this coming Saturday.

19 nominations have been received for the 1500 metres race open only to VOBIS Gold nominated horses. Among the nominations are classy gallopers O’Lonera (O’Lonhro), Refulgent (Hard Spun), Rewarding Effort (Reward for Effort) and Entre Nous (King of Prussia).

“It would be the perfect day for Burning Front to win,” Justin said, noting that a tribute lunch held in honour of his son Lachlan is being held on course that day (full details in flyer at bottom of this article).

Lachlan, who has been bravely fighting an aggressive form of cancer since last August – enduring several difficult rounds of chemotherapy – is Burning Front’s number one fan.


“Burning Front will have plenty of supporters at Moonee Valley and it’s great that he has come back into form just at the right time.”

Darren Weir agreed, noting that “once in form he tends to hold it.”

Burning Front won the same Moonee Valley race last year, a couple of weeks after that proving too strong in Group 3 company, claiming the Carlyon Cup at Caulfield.

“He has been just a wonderful horse for all of us,” Justin said.

So strong is Justin’s affection for Burning Front that when the gelding’s sire Primus came on the market a couple of years ago, he bought him – standing him at Liverpool farm in the Strathbogie Ranges.

One of only a handful of Victorian based stallions to have sired a Group 1 winner last season (the high class Singapore galloper Laughing Gravy), Primus has been serving only small books in recent years, but continues to do a good job for the owner/breeder.

“He is a Group winning beautifully bred son of Flying Spur from the great Denise’s Joy family,” Justin said, pointing out that Primus has been represented by four new impressive winners in the last few weeks.

For further information on Primus on the tribute lunch contact Justin Lovatt on 0416 063 873.

Lachlan Lovatt fundraising lunch flyer

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