Victorian raiders put their hand up for ID23

Victorian trainer Jess Tubbs’ hand in the Ladbrokes Inter Dominion continues to grow stronger.

In the trotting division, she has the defending champion Just Believe, who is the top ranked runner. He has been specifically set for a title defence since returning home from

And Tubbs’ dual Group 1 winner Better Eclipse was ninth when first rankings were released yesterday, but will be on the rise after winning last night’s time-honoured Group 2 Kilmore Cup.

Six pacers have golden tickets into this year’s Albion Park series, which starts on Friday December 1. In order, they are: I Cast No Shadow (defending champion), Honolua Bay (major win: Hunter Cup), Swayzee (Blacks A Fake), Rock N Roll Doo (Len Smith Mile), Leap To Fame (Rising Sun) and Encipher (TAB Eureka).

Dual Miracle Mile and Hunter Cup runner-up Spirit Of St Louis, who may head to the Inter Dominion via the NZ Cup in November, is top ranked of the pacers without a golden ticket in seventh spot.

Emma Stewart’s Act Now, who ran third in last year’s Melbourne Inter Dominion final, was ranked eighth before finishing third in last night’s Kilmore Cup.

Act Now’s stablemates Mach Dan (10) and champion mare Ladies In Red (11) are also highly ranked.

Stewart, who had four pacing finalists in Melbourne last year, trains seven of the first 17 pacers for this year’s series. The others are: Hurricane Harley (13), Amore Vita (17).

Aside from Leap To Fame’s golden ticket, the top ranked Queensland pacing entrants are Hot And Treacherous (12), Blacksadance (14) and Turn It Up (15).

The next couple of weeks should see plenty of moves in the pacing rankings with the Group 3 Smoken Up Sprint at Melton next Saturday night and the Group 1 Victoria Cup at the same track a week later.

In the trotting series, Just Believe is one of four entrants with golden tickets. Majestic Trio (a Trotting Masters winner), Queen Elida (dual Group 1 winner) and NZ’s Love In The Port (Group 1 winner) are the others.

Trainer Phil Williamson said it was “highly unlikely” Love In The Port and his seventh ranked veteran Majestic Man would contest the series.

One sure to climb the rankings is the Chris Lang and Sonia Mahar-trained Ollivici, who easily won last night’s Kilmore Trotters’ Cup.

The next key trotting feature is the Group 1 Bill Collins Trotters’ Sprint at Melton on October 14.

Click here to see the first round of rankings.

By Adam Hamilton