Huge boost for Inter Dominion with Swayzee a confirmed starter

CONFIRMATION New Zealand Cup hero Swayzee will tackle the Brisbane Inter Dominion has taken the series to the next level.

It also sets up an Albion Park rematch between Australia’s two best pacers after Swayzee upstaged his younger half-brother, Queensland sensation Leap To Fame, in the Group 1 Blacks A Fake at Albion Park on July 22.

It was Leap To Fame’s first defeat of the year and came in dramatic circumstances when he copped a flat tyre in the last lap, which eventually wrapped around the wheel and seized it in the home straight.

Swayzee has since confirmed his emerging greatness by going to Christchurch and becoming only the second Aussie-trained pacer to win the famed New Zealand Cup since My Lightning Blue did in 1987. The other was Arden Rooney in 2015.

Just days before that win, Leap To Fame showed he was primed for his home town Inter Dominion when blasting around Albion Park in a 1min51.7sec mile rate for 2138m, taking 0.3sec off the track record he held jointly with Swayzee.

Uncertainty surrounded Swayzee’s Inter Dominion campaign when trainer Jason Grimson scratched him from the Group 1 NZ free-for-all three days after his Cup win.

Jason Grimson and Cam Hart after Swayzee's New Zealand Cup heroics. Photo courtesy: HRNZ

The NZ Cup was on November 14, just 17 days before Swayzee has to contest the opening round of Inter Dominion heats at Albion Park.

The five-year-old was flown from Christchurch to Auckland, then had another flight from Auckland to Sydney early last week. He now faces a road trip from Sydney to Brisbane.

“Jase (Grimson) has been really happy with him since he’s been back home,” driver Cam Hart said.

Grimson, a revelation in Australian training ranks, is trying to become the first trainer to win three successive Inter Dominion finals with different pacers.

He burst onto the scene at his home track when rank outsider Boncel Benjamin won the 2021 Sydney final on protest, then went to Melbourne and won the Melton final with I Cast No Shadow last year.

Swayzee will headline his assault on Brisbane, but with strong support from Hi Manameisjeff and Betterzippit.

Hi Manameisjeff made it six wins from just seven starts since joining Grimson’s stable when he toyed with his rivals in a free-for-all at Menangle on Saturday night.

Leap To Fame in full flight at Albion Park

While Betterzippit, winner of the inaugural $1m Nullarbor in Perth in April, showed he was back on target with a sharp Menangle trial win last Wednesday.

Waiting for them is Leap To Fame, which trainer-driver Grant Dixon says is primed for his last big race of the season.

“I tossed-up whether to run him after his last win, but he didn’t need it. He felt great that night and his weight is good,” he said.

“Even though he’s had a few hard runs in recent months, we gave him a light start to the year knowing it would be busy in the back end.”

Leap To Fame is $2 pre post favourite for the December 16 final, ahead of Swayzee at $3.80.

By Adam Hamilton