It’s been a gigantic build-up to the 2018 Inter Dominion and we have finally reached the summit.
24 horses – 12 pacers, 12 trotters – will clash for the right to be the 2018 Inter Dominion champion of the respective divisions.
Aside from those two enormous Group 1’s, there are nine other races scheduled with most of them looking like incredibly even affairs.
Here is how I see things unfolding;
The top guns squared off last week in a heat of this 30k series and Mick Stanley’s Rackemup Tigerpie handled Luke McCarthy’s Wrangler with relative ease, despite breezing. Expect the same here but keep horses like Pocket Thedeal and Rule Of Thumb in mind for placings.
1 Rackemup Tigerpie (13)
2 Wrangler (12)
3 Rule Of Thumb (2)
4 Pocket Thedeal (1)
Aleppo Murphy is comfortably the most talented horse engaged here and was strong last time out but he can mix his form which tells me I should look for value.
Yabby Dam’s Pizza Queen looks likely to find the front so she will do me whilst Deltasun is also likely to be prominent. Aleppo Murphy picks itself but is mighty short. Rock Tonight is the only other horse I’d throw in.
1 Pizza Queen (3)
2 Aleppo Murphy (9)
3 Rock Tonight (11)
4 Deltasun (4)
Another one for the trotters sees some one-time ID18 hopefuls engaged in what looks to be a one-horse affair. Dance Craze is a superstar and looks like becoming one of the premier trotters in the land very soon. She should be winning.
Place hopes lay with Father Christmas from the pole and Enrolled who is a nice each way price.
1 Dance Craze (13)
2 Enrolled (4)
3 Father Christmas (1)
4 Fabrication (6)
Buster Brady looks a more than handy addition to Kima Frenning’s training stable as he showed with a dominant Geelong Cup win. He should press to the front here and be hard to beat. However, Let It Ride was a one-time ID18 favourite and won the most recent Blacks A Fake but had to be withdrawn after night one.
At the prices, I’m happy to be with Let It Ride whilst Conviction is perhaps the only knockout hope.
1 Let It Ride (9)
2 Buster Brady (7)
3 Conviction (5)
4 Motu Gatecrasher (6)
Hugely tricky ID Consolation race with My Alpha Rock the popular elect but his form has been wayward. Stablemates Ellmers Image (drawn one) and Joes Star Of Mia (drawn eight) are right in this should the polemarker be able to hold up.
Village Witch could be the fresh horse on the scene.
1 Village Witch (9)
2 Joes Star Of Mia (8)
3 My Alpha Rock (5)
4 Im The Boss (6)
Absolute pearler this one. Star Of Memphis went huge upon return but was ultimately overrun. Egodan won nicely at Cranbourne and Ample Power was heavily backed last start but failed to strike.
Wardan Express could be lethal should Upanatom lead but that’s unlikely.
1 Star Of Memphis (11)
2 Egodan (12)
3 Ample Power (13)
4 Wardan Express (8)
The 2018 Inter Dominion Trotting Final is a race in one.
Tornado Valley will need to a) do something wrong or b) endure horrendous luck to be overhauled. He’ll be winning. Behind him will be Kiwi champion Speeding Spur then throw in a few at huge prices like Big Jack Hammer, Save Our Pennys, Tough Monarch, Kyvalley Blur and Kingdom Come.
1 Tornado Valley
2 Speeding Spur (1)
3 Big Jack Hammer (5)
4 Kyvalley Blur (11)
The big one is a cracker!!
I count six winning hopes and the market agrees. Spankem has catapulted into favouritism but stable mate Cruz Bromac is hot on his heels after a flawless heat campaign. Fellow New Zealander Im Pats Delight is thereabouts whilst the Aussies will be reliant on warhorse Tiger Tara, West Aussie Galactic Star and hometown hero San Carlo.
1 Cruz Bromac (9)
2 Spankem (5)
3 Tiger Tara (7)
4 Galactic Star (1)
The real Delight Me dominates these but she was perhaps short of her best in the recent Gunbower Cup.
My Harmony Blue is not one of mine and I like Nikkibadwagon but not from the draw. Caitlyn Clarke has barely put a hair wrong but this is tough.
1 Delight Me (9)
2 Nikkibadwagon (7)
3 My Harmony Blue (1)
4 Glenferrie Blade (8)
Soho Nolita was dominant winning last season’s Pacing Gold Final before running admirably in the VicBred Series before taking a well-earned break. She returned nicely last week and looks ripe here. Arabella Star is sharp and dangerous from leaders back and Tangoingwithsierra would be tough to overcome in front.
1 Soho Nolita (10)
2 Tangoingwithsierra (1)
3 Arabella Star (8)
4 Soho Malibu (9)
Emma Stewart always has a say on big nights at Melton and she will do so here. Goonly is a nice type and can win this. Higherthananeagle went super last start but he’s still enigmatic. Solid As A Rock goes okay and Spinners Boy could run a race in front.
1 Goonly (10)
2 Higherthananeagle (9)
3 Spinners Boy (4)
4 Solid As A Rock (7)
The night is so even that horses will pop up at huge odds and you’ll be wondering why on earth you weren’t on it. It’s just one of those nights. Enjoy having the Inter Dominion back in Victoria and I look forward to seeing you all trackside for what promises to be a gigantic night of premier Harness Racing.