Ladbrokes Inter Dominion Countdown – October 4

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

THE odds are swinging in favour of Leap To Fame tackling Saturday week’s Group 1 Victoria Cup as part of his Ladbrokes Inter Dominion build-up.

There was relief when six pacers accepted for Saturday night’s The Legend – Don Ross Open Pace (2138m), meaning the race could go ahead at Albion Park.

Having the lead-up run was a deal breaker for Leap To Fame’s chances of heading to Melton a week later.

But owner Kevin Seymour said a final decision still would not be made until after Saturday night’s race.

“Grant has said all along that he’ll leave the decision until then. It’s a big decision because it costs $40,000 for a return flight to Melbourne with him. Basically, he’s got to win the Cup to make a profit on the trip,” he said.

“Grant says he’s happy with the horse so hopefully he comes out and goes as well as we’d like this week.”

Leap To Fame’s main danger on Saturday night, classy former Kiwi pacer Hot And Treacherous, could also head to the Victoria Cup.

“That’s the plan, as long as we can sort out suitable flights,” trainer Jack Butler said.

All six runners in Saturday night’s Albion Park free-for-all are nominated for the Ladbrokes Inter Dominion pacing series. The others are Aphorism, L L Cool J, Mr Mclaren and Leap To Fame’s stablemate, Tims A Trooper.

TWO of Jason Grimson’s big hopes of completing an Inter Dominion pacing final three-peat, may also be headed to Saturday week’s Victoria Cup.

Grimson, who won the past two finals with former claiming pacers Boncel Benjamin and I Cast No Shadow, has eight pacers nominated for this year’s Albion Park series. That’s despite last year’s winner being transferred to Darrel Graham’s stable.

Stunning Blacks A Fake winner Swayzee returned with a Menangle trial today (Wednesday), while recent stable addition Hi Manameisjeff is $1.30 to make it four wins from as many starts for the stable at Menangle on Saturday night.

Grimson is very keen to tackle next week’s Cup with Hi Manameisjeff and will make a call on Swayzee later this week.

Swayzee, who hasn’t raced since beating Leap To Fame in the Blacks A Fake on July 22, is also aiming at the New Zealand Cup on November 14.

“HE is coming along nicely.”

That’s the update from trainer Jess Tubbs on Just Believe as he builds towards his Inter Dominion title defence.

Just Believe hasn’t raced since finishing a fantastic second in Boden at the last of three Swedish starts on June 17.

He didn’t arrive back in Australia until July 31.

Tubbs has been single-minded in an Inter Dominion title defence since getting Just Believe back to her Myrniong stables.

Just Believe is a commanding $2.50 favourite in the trotting series from glamour mare Queen Elida at $6.

STILL on the trotting series and mighty mare Queen Elida could soon be challenging for favouritism.

Brent Lilley’s stable star is shooting for her ninth win from her past 10 starts in Friday night’s George Gath Trot (2240m) at Melton.

In the past two weeks she has firmed from $6 into $4 behind only Just Believe in pre post markets.

Queen Elida will back-up eight days later to chase another Group 1 win in the Bill Collins Sprint (1720m) on Victoria Cup night.

Classy pair Im Ready Jet and Mufasa Metro are Queen Elida’s key rivals on Friday night and also both nominated for Brisbane Inter Dominion.

WE won’t see any New Zealand-trained runners in this Inter Dominion series.

Dual NZ Cup winner Copy That was unlikely anyway, but is now sidelined with his injury and his Ray Green-trained stablemate Simply Sam won’t be making the trip, either.

Albion Park officials were hopeful South Island trainer Phil Williamson would tackle the trotting series with one or both of Love N The Port or veteran Majestic Man.

“No, it’s very unlikely. I really just nominated them to keep all options open,” Williamson said.

FORMER topliner Minstrel gets his chance to return to winning form from the pole in the free-for-all at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

The gelding, who has won and finished second in the past two Fremantle Cups, is one of four pacers trainers Greg and Skye Bond have nominated for the Inter Dominion.

WHILE Miracle Mile winner Catch A Wave isn’t nominated for the Inter Dominion, four of his rivals in Saturday night’s $50,000 Smoken Up Sprint (1720m) at Melton are paid-up.

Rejuvenated veteran Bulletproof Boy, who looks Catch A Wave’s main danger from gate three, pole marker Blitzern, Helluva and veteran Max Delight are all nominated for Albion Park in December.

The barrier draw has added much intrigue to the race with Catch A Wave drawn the worst possible alley, inside the back row (gate eight).

Australasia’s premier harness racing event will take centre stage at Albion Park this December. 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.