Leap To Fame drawn to order to launch Inter Dominion assault

HOMETOWN hero Leap To Fame is drawn to make a winning start to his Brisbane Inter Dominion assault.

Grant Dixon’s superstar four-year-old landed in what looks the easiest of Friday night’s four 1660m pacing heats and drew ideally in gate four as well.

“I’m really happy with where he’s at going into,” Dixon said. “We tossed-up whether to give him another run after winning a few weeks back, but he didn’t need it.

“It (Friday) looks a good race for him on paper and drawing well is certainly a bonus with a long series ahead.”

It also gives Dixon the chance to further test Leap To Fame’s gate speed, has been seen by some as the only chink in his armour, from a good front row draw.

Leap To Fame’s half-brother and major rival for the final, Swayzee, fared even better in gate two in his opening round heat.

Like Leap To Fame, Swayzee is not blessed with brilliant early speed and will be crossed by the explosive Turn It Up (gate five) at the start, but it shouldn’t matter on what we’ve seen of Swayzee in his nine wins from as many starts since joining Jason Grimson’s stable.

The first two pacing heats are a lot more open.

Just Believe will be out to defend his Inter Dominion Trotters title Picture: Stuart McCormick

Victorian star Rock N Roll Doo is the class factor of heat one, but drawn poorly outside the front row (gate seven) over the short 1660m trip.

Talented locals Future Assured (gate five), Uptown Beachgirl (six) and dual Miracle Mile placegetter Spirit Of St Louis (eight, inside back row) are the other key runners.

Defending Inter Dominion champion I Cast No Shadow has gate three, but would need to improve a lot on his three runs this campaign.

Emerging local Captain Bubbles can continue his rise from an ideal draw (gate two) in the second heat (race four), but will be strong opposition from the likes of dual Group 1 winner Better Eclipse (gate five) and inaugural Nullarbor winner Betterzippit (six).

Globetrotting gelding Just Believe should get his title defence off to a winning start from gate one in the last of three trotting series heats (race eight).

His biggest danger in the series, superstar mare Queen Elida, looks classes above her rivals from gate four in the second heat (race seven), while the opening heat looks like a match between talented Victorians Musafa Metro (gate one) and Ollivici (three).





Trainer-driver: Grant Dixon

Adam Hamilton says: The hometown hero with the potential to be all-time great. Already won 25 of his 35 starts and almost $1.5mil. His versatility and class, mixed with a home track advantage, make him the one they all have to beat.



Trainer: Jason Grimson

Driver: Cam Hart

Adam Hamilton says: The older half-brother to Leap To Fame clearly looks his biggest danger. Looked absolutely stunning winning all nine starts since joining the Jason Grimson stable, including beating Leap To Fame at this track in their only meeting. Since beating the Kiwis over there in their biggest race.



Trainer: Jason Grimson

Driver: Cam Hart

Adam Hamilton says: Fascinating runner. Stablemate of Swayzee who roared through the grades to win the $1mil Nullarbor in Perth in April. Well below best in four runs since, but had health issues and looked back on song winning a Menangle trial last week. Has real X-factor.



Trainer: Jess Tubbs

Driver: Greg Sugars

Adam Hamilton says: The defending champ. Going all the way to Sweden for three races mid-year only seems to have improved him. Despite being first-up and surely needing the run, he was breathtaking winning first-up. Fast, strong, all class and the one they have to beat.



Trainer: Brent Lilley

Driver: Chris Alford

Adam Hamilton says: Mighty mare who was almost unbeatable during Just Believe’s absence in the back half of this year. Brave when burned early and found Just Believe too good last time. No doubt she’s better than this time last year and will really test the champ.



Trainers: Chris Lang and Sonia Mahar

Driver: Chris Lang

Adam Hamilton says: Has the makings of being top shelf, but still looks a work in progress and might be a year away. Has been competitive with Just Believe and Queen Elida at times, but would need everything to go right to beat them come final time.


JASON GRIMSON: Trying to do what no trainer has done by winning three successive Inter Dominion pacing finals with different horses. Natalie Rasmussen (Blacks A Fake) and Brian Hancock (Our Sir Vancelot) have done it with the same horse.


GREG SUGARS: Along with driving trotting favourite Just Believe, Sugars will also partner dual Group 1 winner Better Eclipse in the trotting series for his wife, Jess Tubbs.

By Adam Hamilton