For photos from the Meadowlands contact

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Inter Dominion 2011 Preview

The following is a report from VFTRG contributor Sam Rawnsley, a driver in Tasmania, Australia who was profiled here late last year.  Sam has graciously agreed to give our readers periodic updates as the Inter Dominions approach.  Here is Sam's first report.

“You ain’t seen nothing yet.”

This is the catch phase for the 2011 Inter Dominion to be held at Addington Raceway, starting in March 25th with the final on April 8th, or have we?

We seen it all last year when Blacks A Fake made history in becoming the first pacer to win 4 finals, the big question being can he do it again? Who really cares, he has nothing to prove; we will never see another horse like him. He is a machine, the best of the best, but having him there again this year sure adds to the excitement that is building around this year’s series.

70 pacers and 72 trotters have nominated for the series with all the super stars, Mr Feelgood, Blacks A Fake, Smoken Up, Monkey King, Stunin Cullen, Sleepy Tripp and a lot of up and comers plus a lot of interest in Auckland Reactor, who is back in work and is being set for the Inter Dominion by his trainer Mark Purdon.

The 4 year old mare De Lovely is also nominated along with Russley Rascal and Franco Emirate, all of which are stepping up to the plate to take on the big guns. De Lovely has the speed to match it with them and she will be a big contender in the series.

Of the 72 trotters who have nominated for the trotters Inter Dominion 5 are from Scandinavia; this will be a major task for these horses if they come due to the fact that they have to go to England for quarantine and then only have about 5 weeks to get ready for the series. This is one massive ask for these trotters; let’s hope we can get a couple there.

There have been some great horses that have won the Inter Dominion over the years. Springfield Globe back in 1939 who was by the great Globe Derby, who sired the first 3 across the line that year. Captain Sandy took the series out in 1950 and then done it again in 1953.

Then along came the “Mighty Atom” Caduceus who took out the 1960 final in Sydney in front of 50,000 fan; that’s not counting the ones that jumped the fence to get in! 1963 was won by the millionaire pacer Cardigan Bay, some say the best ever. How do you compare?

Then along came a horse they called The Frog. Who would forget that night when the crowd went silent as the sirens blasted “some thing is wrong with The Frog!!” Preux Chevalier was ok and he smashed then in the 1985 final at Moonee Valley.

For many years the man they call “Mr Inter Dominion”, Brian Hancock has played a major roll in the series winning in a total of 6 times as a driver or trainer with his super star pacer Our Sir Vancelot wining it in 1997, 98, and 99. It took the great Blacks A Fake to beat that record making it 4 finals.

So what will this year series bring us, the excitement is building day by day and trainers are putting together final plans so their horses are cherry ripe come inter time. Will we see the grand champ Blacks A Fake continue to be a superhero and win another final? Natalie Rasmussen knows every thing about this horse, when he sleeps, when he drinks, when he eats. She loves him as well and he just keeps giving her his best time and time again. It is possible, don’t worry about that!  Or will we see Mr Feelgood stamp himself as one of the best pacers in the world, if he can win again? Or will a new kid on the block stand up and let the world of harness racing know that he or she has arrived?

Only time will tell, so if anyone is floating about Christchurch in late March or early April make sure you call into Addington Raceway, because you might see something that you have not seen before, one great race!

No comments: