2023 Inter Dominion Finals preview

The barrier draw has turned Saturday night’s Inter Dominion Pacing Championship Final at Albion Park on its head with local hope Leap To Fame drawn to work and his half-brother and arch rival Swayzee likely to find the lead.

LEAP TO FAME. Picture: Dan Costello

The siblings had gone into the series as the two big guns but Leap To Fame was the one to assert his dominance in the early rounds, going through the heats undefeated while Swayzee was a beaten favourite in his last two outings.

Those results had seen Leap To Fame an odds-on favourite pre-draw and Swayzee a drifting second pick but the barriers have seen the pair flipped in the market.

There’s no doubt the marble is a blow to Leap To Fame’s chances but he has been the standout pacer not only in the series so far but also through the season of racing.

He’ll likely have to work from the barrier – possibly sitting parked outside of Swayzee – but he has been very brave under similar circumstances in several big events this season and is going as well as ever.

Leap To Fame now offers a bit value in the betting for a horse with such a terrific record at this circuit so his loyal supporters will be banking on his class and courage being enough for him to tough it out.

Swayzee came into the series on a remarkable winning streak – including a Blacks a Fake victory over Leap To Fame at Albion Park in the winter – and while he has been defeated in the last two rounds he still appears to be going well.

He should get to the front from this draw and has won both November’s New Zealand Cup and the Blacks A Fake from that spot.

A free-rolling Swayzee is a formidable sight and he will no doubt he hard to get past.

SWAYZEE. Picture: Dan Costello

Better Eclipse is going really well with two wins and a second through the heats. He draws the back row and while that’s not ideal he possesses a lethal sprint so could be dangerous late if the two big guns take each other on.

Swayzee’s stablemate Nerano has really emerged this series, chasing Leap To fame on night one and winning his next to heats.

The ace draw looks perfect for him as he is likely to have Swayzee’s back in the run and get the sprint lane at his disposal in the home straight.

It’s a different story in the Inter Dominion Trotting Championship with the barrier draw only strengthening the claims of the hot favourite.

Defending champion Just Believe has been the dominant force through the series and really put his rivals to the sword when making a clean sweep of the heats last week.

He will be peaking for tonight and a favourable draw should allow him to push to the lead.

He is strong, classy and in terrific form so will be very hard to get past.

JUST BELIEVE. Picture: Dan Costello

Queen Elida retuned to winning form in good style in round three after brave efforts in her first two heats.

She draws on the outside of Just Believe and it won’t be easy to cross him but she is a reliable mare with a string of top-two finishes so could make a race of it.

Ollivici has really stepped up in this series. He was a brave second to Just Believe last week after winning in the first two rounds, beating Queen Elida from a similar barrier in one of those.

He is a definite top-three player as is Mufasa Metro who was the other big beneficiary at the barrier draw.

He is ultra consistent with a string of-top-four finishes to his name and the ace draw should see him enjoy a charmed passage.

Plymouth Chubb is the other trotter to really emerge this series and while he draws on the back row he has been going great and powered home from behind to Queen Elida in round one. He is one to look for late.

By Ken Warren