Ladbrokes Inter Dominion Countdown – Nov 15

As part of the countdown series until the running of the 2023 Ladbrokes Inter Dominion Championship at The Creek, Albion Park, ADAM HAMILTON will update the key happenings around Australasia’s premier harness racing event each week.

SWAYZEE will return to Brisbane next month a better horse than when he won the Group 1 Blacks A Fake in July.

That was evident after his powerhouse win in Group 1 New Zealand Cup at Addington yesterday.

Swayzee became only the second Aussie-trained pacer in 36 years to win NZ’s iconic race when he upstaged local star Akuta in stunning style.

“He’s improved since that break Jase (Grimson, trainer) gave him after Brisbane,” driver Cam Hart said. “He stronger, but faster, too.”

Grimson has the option of backing-up Swayzee in Friday’s Group 1 NZ Free-For-All at Addington or skipping it and going straight to the first round of Ladbrokes Inter Dominion heats at Albion Park on December 1.

“I wasn’t going to run him Friday, but he did it so easily in the Cup and was pulling away again at the finish,” he said.

Swayzee firmed into $3.50 for the pacing final, while his younger half-brother Leap To Fame remains a $2.25 favourite.

FANS almost certainly won’t see Leap To Fame race again before the first round of heats on December 1.

The four-year-old bounced back from the equal longest losing streak of his stellar career – two defeats – to thrash his rivals in the Group 2 Queensland Cup (2138m) at Albion Park last Saturday night.

Trainer-driver Grant Dixon meant business from the start, pushing Leap To Fame out hard from gate five to work forward and find the lead.

And then he just kept rolling through a slick 35.7sec lead time and 58.8sec first half of the last mile.

Leap To Fame still finished off in 53.9 and 26.5sec to win by 13.9m.

His 1min51.7sec mile rate took 0.3sec off the 2138m track record Leap To Fame held jointly with his half-brother, Swayzee.

“Trista and I will see how he is this week, but I’d say he wouldn’t have another run,” Dixon said.

It was part of a special night for the Dixons with Trista training and driving OK Boomer to win the race named after Grant’s late father, The Bill Dixon.

FORMER Victoria Cup winner Rock N Roll Doo looms as one of the biggest dangers to Leap To Fame.

The five-year-old returns from a freshen-up for his only lead-up race ahead of Brisbane when he tackles a strong line-up in Friday night’s $50,000 Group 2 Breeders Crown free-for-all at Melton.

He has drawn the pole against other Inter Dominion nominees like Hurricane Harley (two), Bulletproof Boy (three), Mach Dan (four), Beyond Delight (five) and Act Now (nine).

Rock N Roll Doo worked between races at Ballarat last Friday night to prepare, going a 1min57sec mile rate for 2400m and dashing home in 54 flat and 26.4sec.

“He’s had three weeks between runs, so it’s just what he needed ahead of the Breeders Crown race and then head off to Brisbane,” trainer-driver Mick Stanley said.

Rock N Roll Doo brilliantly won the Group 1 Len Smith Mile at Menangle on September 2, but was beaten at his past three runs when fifth in the Kilmore Cup, fourth in the Victoria Cup and third in the Geelong Cup.

WHAT an entrée to the Inter Dominion trotting series we have at Bendigo on Friday night.

The two big guns of the series – Just Believe and Queen Elida – will clash for the first time in 10 months in the $30,000 Breeders Crown Open Trot.

It’s also the first time Just Believe has raced since the last of three runs in Sweden, when a monstrous second at Boden on June 17.

“Everything seems great with him. It was disappointing to miss the race last Saturday when there weren’t enough acceptors, so he’ll improve on whatever he does this week,” co-trainer and driver Greg Sugars said.

“I just hope he comes back and does what we hope. There’s more interest in him now than ever before.”

Queen Elida has clearly gone to another level this year, albeit without having to content with Just Believe for much of it. She’s won 12 of her past 13 starts and ran second in the other.

Brent Lilley’s stable star certainly has the edge in recent race fitness, but has drawn wide (gate seven), so it will be fascinating to see how Friday night plays out. Just Believe is the lone back row runner (eight).

The race doesn’t end with those two, either. Chris Lang’s Ollivici has shown he can be highly competitive with Just Believe and Queen Elida.

Ollivici just missed when he came off a 30m handicap and ran second in the Yarra Valley Trotters’ Cup last Thursday.

CHAMPION driver Kerryn Manning is racing time to drive top young trotter Plymouth Chubb in the Inter Dominion.

Manning fractured her wrist in four places in a fall at Melton just over six weeks ago.

“It’s a lot worse than they first thought. It wasn’t until three weeks after it, they did a CT scan and found the four fractures, two of them displaced,” Manning said.

“It’s still painful at times now and I’m booked in to see the plastic surgeon on Thursday. I’ll know more then.”

Plymouth Chubb, a former superstar juvenile who has battled injuries, has already shown his open-class quality with victory in a heat of the Great Southern Star at Melton earlier this year.

He’s since had another stint on the sidelines with complications from an original surgery, but showed promising signs with a fourth placing at his first run back at Maryborough on October 29.

Like Just Believe, Plymouth Chubb missed a key lead-up race when the trotting free-for-all was scrapped because of insufficient final acceptors at Melton last Saturday night.

He will now head towards a Breeders Crown trot at Bendigo on Friday night.

One of Plymouth Chubb’s key rivals at Bendigo will be Chris Svanosio’s exciting four-year-old Arcee Phoenix.

The son of Trixton has raced 10 times this season for seven wins and two seconds.

“We’ll see how he goes on Friday then talk as a group about whether we take him to the Inter Dominion,” Svanosio said.

Arcee Phoenix has drawn outside the front (seven), giving him an advantage over Plymouth Chubb from inside the back row (eight).

DEFENDING Inter Dominion pacing champion I Cast No Shadow gets his chance to show some timely form from an ideal draw at Albion Park on Saturday night.

Now in the care of Darrel Graham, I Cast No Shadow will be fitter for two runs back from a spell and has gate two in the easiest race he has contested for a long time.

“I’ve been happy with both runs and he gets his chance from the draw this week,” Graham said.

Australasia’s premier harness racing event will take centre stage at Albion Park next month. Don’t miss your chance to be trackside at Queensland’s first Inter Dominion in over 20 years!

There’s a range of ticket and hospitality options available for each night. Click on the link below to view info and packages.