Leap To Fame makes all in ID23 Pacers Final

Local hero thrills fans with victory in Inter Dominion Pacers Final in Brisbane.

Leap To Fame became a bone fide hero of harness racing with victory in the Inter Dominion Pacers Championship Grand Final at Albion Park on Saturday with a blistering finish that stamped his talent as that of the highest level for a standardbred.

A clean sweep of the three heats and $530,000 Group 1 final, the test for many of the fancies was whether the expected early speed would be telling.

Trainer/driver Grant Dixon sped Leap To Fame ($2.30 favourite) from the 2680-metre start straight to the lead and was joined early on by half-brother – and conqueror in the Group 1 Blacks A Fake (2680m) in July – Swayzee ($2.70) in a contest that delivered last mile sectionals of 27.8 seconds followed by 28.7, 27.2 and 27.5 for a sharp mile rate of 1:53.5.


LEAP TO FAME striding away to win the 2023 Inter Dominion Pacers Championship Final at Albion Park

“This is the greatest moment and I’m so relieved that it is all done, to tell you the truth,” Dixon said.

“I’m so proud of him. It is a dream come true for us and I’m just so pleased we got the job done.

“It has been a tense week and I’m so proud that we’ve done the horse proud and got him there.”

With 500-metres to go, Dixon let ‘Larry’ draw away for his 10.6-metre victory over Better Eclipse ($9.50) with Swayzee staying on for third placing a neck-margin away.

A key for the four-year-year old was to have control of the lead as early as possible.

“It was a good relief,” Dixon added.

“I didn’t really think he could get beaten if I got to the lead under reasonable circumstances and he never let us down.

“You get nervous when you look at the times but when you’re sitting behind him, he’s doing it so well so you’re confident in that way.”

Leap To Fame became the second Queenslander to win the Pacing Final following fellow sunshine state pin-up Blacks A Fake, a four-time winner through 2006 to 2010.

By Danny Matthews