Those who are into horse racing are familiar with the Inter Dominion, a harness racing competition held in Australia and New Zealand. This competition dates back to the 1930s, and has been held in both countries ever since.
'Act Now' may be a relative unknown in the harness racing world but his victory in the first heat of the Inter Dominion Trotting Championships at Geelong on Saturday was a worthy contender. Driven by Jodi Quinlan, he showed early speed and worked forward before landing the one-one.
Act Now isn't the first time a horse has won a heat at Inter Dominion. In 2001, New Zealand's Lorraine Nolan trained Yulestar to the Brisbane final.
The Inter Dominion has been held in Australia since 1936. The first series was held in Perth. In that time, 151 nominations have been released. In total, 69 trotters have made their way into the Inter Dominion rankings.
The competition is a two-part affair, with heats held at Ballarat and Shepparton on November 26 and December 10. Fourteen horses have qualified for the grand final, which is held at the end of December at Tabcorp Park, Melton.
The Inter Dominion is an intriguing competition that has been held in Australia since 1936. It was the brainchild of Western Australian Trotting Association Chairman Mr. J P Stratton. It was intended to subject the Dominion Government to a greater burden than the pre-confederation treaties had assumed.
The Inter Dominion is a harness racing competition, held in Australia since 1936. It includes a trotting heat, a pacing heat, a consolation heat and a grand final. The competition is held in a number of venues, including Ballarat, Geelong, Shepparton, Auckland and Christchurch.
The Inter Dominion has also been held in New Zealand since 1936. In that time, three women have trained a winner. Belinda McCarthy, Jodi Quinlan and Natalie Rasmussen have all been in the winner's circle.
Despite having a disappointing season, Tony Herlihy is chasing his fifth Inter Dominion Trotting Championship grand final win. Bolt For Brilliance has a lot of momentum going into the race. He is the hot favourite in the series and has connections to both Sundees Son and Muscle Mountain. However, he has a few issues to iron out before the race.
Bolt For Brilliance has a gear malfunction in his recent race in Christchurch. Despite being locked wheels, he lost 20m. He was later found to have a fractured pedal bone. He will need veterinary clearance before he can run in the final. However, he could be ready to race in a month's time.
Bolt For Brilliance has won five of his last six races. He has been preparing out of Toolern Vale in Toolern Vale. He is the lone New Zealand-trained pacer for the second year in a row.
Bolt For Brilliance is one of the top three New Zealand trotters in the series, alongside Majestic Son and Blacks A Fake. He has contested six Inter Dominion series and finished second in two of them. His form has improved since the series started. He will be a $700,000 shot to win the grand final on December 10 in Melton.
However, Bolt For Brilliance has had a few health issues over the past couple of months. He had "gunk" in his lungs after a race in Christchurch. He has also had to withdraw from a Dominion race. He was also subject to a stewards hearing after a gear malfunction.
His recent heat in Geelong saw Bolt For Brilliance finish second behind Just Believe. He will now return to Geelong for the second round on Saturday. His draw looks better than the first round, and his form has improved since the Dominion series.
During his driving career, Tony Herlihy has won four Inter Dominion Trotting Grand Finals. He has driven for many champions including Buster Hanover, Pride Of Petite and Diamond Field. He has also won the Australasian Drivers Championship. He has been associated with many champions and has been awarded a New Zealand Order of Merit.
He is one of the leading reinsmen in New Zealand. In his first season as an open reinsman, Tony won 69 races. In his second season he won 118. In his third season he was runner up in the drivers' premiership. He had a breakthrough year in 1986/87 with 114 wins.
Herlihy is one of the most successful reinsmen in the history of Inter Dominion Championships. He was the first driver to win back-to-back titles. He also shared the record with Vin Knight for wins. He was the first driver to be inducted into the Inter Dominion Hall of Fame.
Herlihy also guided Purdon-trained Chokin to victories in the New Zealand Cup and the Auckland Cup. He also helped the horse qualify for the Sydney Inter Dominions. He was among the more outspoken drivers.
He has been driving Bolt For Brilliance in the Inter Dominion series. This is the only New Zealand-trained horse in the series. He is expected to win this season, but Herlihy is not expecting his horse to win every race. He says his horse is suffering from a lung infection. He is hoping that the infection is over. Bolt For Brilliance has had some trouble during the second round of Inter Dominion heats. He will now be driven by Josh Dickie in Geelong on Saturday.
He has won two heats in the heats. He is expected to win the Grand Final. He is a favourite with the bookmakers. He has only driven in one Inter Dominion trotting final in the last two years.
Despite being bred and trained in Australia, Majestic Cruiser is a Kiwi horse. The horse is owned by Des Glynn with his wife Heather. They have been active participants in the industry for five decades.
The horse has been winning races in the past eight months. He beat a number of fancied rivals to win the Group 1 Blacks A Fake at Albion Park in Brisbane last week. Majestic Cruiser is trained by Jason Grimson, who has won a number of major Group 1 races with outsiders. He has also been winning heats of the Inter Dominion championships in Australia.
The Inter Dominion is a harness racing competition held in Australia and New Zealand. It is a series of heats that take place over a two week period. The Grand Final is held in the third week. A horse that finishes in the top three or four of each heat qualifies to the Grand Final. The horse with the most points wins the championship.
The Inter Dominion is held at venues across six Australian states and New Zealand. This weekend sees the first round of qualifying heats for the series at Ballarat and Shepparton. There are 151 nominations. The barrier draw is live online.
The live barrier draw begins at 7pm NZ time on Saturday. There are three series favourites drawn out of the pack. The two that stand out are Copy That and Smoken Up Sprint. The latter looks to have the better draw. There are also four other horses in the final field that have qualified.
The Inter Dominion has been held in Australia since 1936. The competition is held over six harness racing states.
During the Inter Dominion season, the pacer Expensive Ego has been explosive. He has won all three heats and finished in the top spot in the final. He is one of the stars of the New South Wales racing scene. However, he has been out of form recently. He has only won two races since last year. He is expected to have a tough time in the $100,000 Group 1 Newcastle Mile on Friday. He will face Boncel Benjamin.
Boncel Benjamin is the defending champion of the Inter Dominion and is expected to be a class field. However, he has been first-up for more than three months. He was only second in last year's final. He will be out to reclaim his crown. However, his protest against Expensive Ego's win has sparked debate.
Expensive Ego has been a star in New South Wales racing. He has 20 wins from 28 starts and has earned $668,617. He is co-trained by Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin. He is a half-brother to Arts Treasure and Bodhi Tree. Expensive Ego is a class act. He will be supported in the SENTrack Inter Dominion Pacing Championship heats at Ballarat on Saturday. He has been a consistent performer in qualifiers, although he was beaten by Act Now twice and Mach Dan at Shepparton.
Expensive Ego is a favourite to win the Inter Dominion Pacing Championship Final. However, he is expected to have a tough time in his first race since last year. He will be driven by David Moran. He has been out of form recently and his trackwork yesterday was poor. He did not have a great run in the Victoria Cup last month.