IT’S “game on” time with the first round of heats for the 2018 Inter Dominion to be contested at TabCorp Park Melton, Victoria on December 1.
There will be three heats for the pacers and two heats for the trotters to be contested as Group 3 races with prize money on offer of $30,000 each heat.
NSW has a very healthy contingent of runners and strong trainers heading south in the hope of making their way to the $500,000 Inter Dom Pacing Final Championship (Group 1) at TabCorp Park Melton on December 15.
Some of those are: Shane and Lauren Tritton (My Alpha Rock, Yayas Hot Spot, Franco Nelson, Maximan); Kevin Pizzuto (Tiger Tara, Freyberg); Bathurst trainer Steve Turnbull (Joes Star of Mia, Conviction); Craig Cross (Mach Doro, Cash N Flow); Jason Grimson (Village Witch); and the Chris Frisby stables at Bathurst with Our Uncle Sam.
A little bit of trivia here – Our Uncle Sam from the Chris Frisby stables finished seventh in the 2017 January running of the three-year-old Starmaker Final at Tamworth to the Bernie Hewitt-trained I’m With Lexy.
Yayas Hot Spot from the Trittion stables won the Garrard’s Tamworth City Cup back in January 2015.
Nice to see that Elly Chapple, who is gaining her reins licence and the daughter of in-form Dean Chapple and his wife Julie, is doing work experience with the Tritton stables - what a good couple of weeks to pick!
That is just a few of the NSW horses to contest the first round of heats before moving onto another round of heats at Ballarat on December 4 and then Cranbourne on December 8 before back to TabCop Park Melton for the final on December 15.
IT was a job well done by Tamworth-trained and based Gottashopearly who placed in an early bid to tackle the 2018 Inter Dominion dream finishing 52 in the rankings - the final cut off point to be eligible to be a contender. However, connections have elected to give the gelding a spell.
The ID18 dream is over for the Richard Williams stables but the biggest pat on the back for having a go.
After being ranked at 103 in the first round, Gottashopearly finished at 52 – a big job when you consider the horse travelled to contest races in Victoria and Menangle.
Carrying the Horse of the Year title for the 2017-18 racing season at Tamworth, Gottashopearly should pop again at the 2019 Golden Guitar Carnival at Tamworth in January.
MOONBI pacer Shadow Dealer from the Wayne Gray stables was unlucky not to take out the Dubbo RSL Club Final raced at Dubbo last Saturday night. Looking for his fourth win on the trot Shadow Dealer was claimed near the line by Camelot Speedstar (Mitch Turnbull).
“I won the same race with his mother - Aces Reign – seven years ago,” Wayne Gray said. “It would have been a bit unique if he won.”
Aces Reign won the 2011 running of the Dubbo RSL Club Series Final with Gray listed as trainer and Dean Chapple taking the drive on that occasion, which was added into the mares 11 career wins.
Shadow Dealer won the Dubbo Heat after resuming from a spell.
“It was a pretty tough run and he had to work hard early as I drew the six. We went up and sat outside the leader (Our Pocket Rocket) all the way and he (Shadow Dealer) just pulled away from them,” Gray said.
Shadow Dealer went on for a win at Armidale before contesting the Dubbo Final.
“He has only been out of a place once in all his runs,” stated Gray, with Shadow Dealer having 15 race starts for six wins and eight placings.
“I think he will get better each year - he is a lot stronger this year - he is now a four-year old.”
Wayne Gray made his way out of retirement a few seasons back and only has the one horse in work - Shadow Dealer.
“I used to train about 20 horses but he is the only horse that I have in work now,” he said. “Now that I have got back into it (training and driving) - I am a bit old at 72 - I enjoy it.”
Check the results from Thursday’s Tamworth harness meeting as Shadow Dealer contested the last race on the program.
TAMWORTH is graced by some talent - not only from horses but drivers.
On the NSW State Top 10 Premiership listings, reinsman Brad Elder appears with so far this season having had 127 drives for 22 wins, 50 placings ($135,100).
Leading female drivers listing has Lola Weidemann contesting 52 races with the result of seven wins and 24 placings ($44,825); Stacey Weidemann has had 38 drives for six wins and 16 placings ($32,135); and Tamworth’s very own Sarah Rushbrook is sitting in the Top 10 with 36 drives for three wins and 14 placings ($22,200).
Harness racing will be back at Tamworth again next week on December 6.
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