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After crossing the line in third in Friday night’s Inter Dominion grand final, Bathurst product Todd McCarthy was the first to shake the hand of harness racing trainer-driver Mark Purdon. While McCarthy did all he could to see Tiger Tara win the $1.1 million classic at Gloucester Park, he knew he was beaten by a special horse in Purdon’s Lazarus. Starting as the $1.90 favourite, Lazarus was one out and two back early before making a move to sit in the death outside Tiger Tara ($7.20) with just over two laps to go. McCarthy had pinched a 99.9 seconds lead time in the 2,963 metres contest and had the Kevin Pizzuto trained horse travelling well after securing the lead from barrier one. Tiger Tara had beaten Purdon’s champion five-year-old in the heats of the series and McCarthy was looking to repeat that success. But through the final bend Lazarus drew level with McCarthy’s chance and then ran away from the field down the straight. Clocking 27.4 and 27.2 splits in the run home, Lazarus picked up his 14th Group 1 win. “He is the best horse I have ever trained”, Purdon said post-race.  He finished 4.1m clear of Chicago Bull ($4.60) who was able to get past a tiring Tiger Tara after spending a bulk of the journey in the trail. Tiger Tara did well to hold on for third, a further 1.6m back, to give McCarthy his second top-three finish in the biggest race on the Australasian Harness Racing calendar. He previously Seel N Print to second in 2014. By Anya Whitelaw Reprinted with permission of The Western Advocate

Champion New Zealand pacer Lazarus has won the harness racing A$1.1 million (NZ$1.2 million) Tabtouch Inter Dominion final at Gloucester Park in Perth on Friday night (Saturday morning NZ Time). The two-time New Zealand Trotting Cup winner was too tough from the parked position and beat home Chicago Bull and Tiger Tara. Lazarus' victory was the second win in the race in as many years for the training partnership of Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen, who won the race with Smolda in 2016. Purdon told Sky Racing after the win that Lazarus was the best horse he’d ever put a bridal on. “He’s a champion and I don’t call many of them champions, but this horse is,” Purdon said. “It was a great feeling, when you’ve got a horse like this it comes with a lot of pressure too — it’s a relief.” Hall of Fame racing legend Fred Kersley was in awe of the remarkable horse that now sports a record of 33 wins from 39 starts — placing in the other seven. “He’s a dominant horse ... he’s just outstanding,” Kersley said. “He made it look easy. He went to the line comfortably. “They could have gone another lap and they wouldn’t have caught him.” The honour roll of past Inter Dominion winners reads like a who's who of racing but perhaps the greatest name of them all and certainly the greatest to have graced the track at Gloucester Park was Im Themightyquinn, winner of the 2011, 2012 and 2013 Inter Dominion Championships.By  By Mat Kermeen Group 1 $1.1 Million TABtouch Inter Dominion Grand Final 6 8:00pm TABTOUCH INTER DOMINION GRAND FINAL (SKY 1) 2936M $1,100,000 M0 Or Better. RBD. Mobile Results Pl  Horse Prize- money   Row & Br TAB # Trainer Driver (C = Concession) Mgn (m) Starting odds Stewards' Comments  1 LAZARUS NZ      Fr2 2 Mark Purdon Mark Purdon   $ 1.90 fav  2   BAY HORSE 5 by BETTORS DELIGHT USA out of BETHANY (NZ) (CHRISTIAN CULLEN NZ)  Owner(s): G J Kennard, P I Kennard, T G Casey, K J Riseley  Breeder(s): G Chin, Studholme Bloodstock Limited 2 CHICAGO BULL NZ      Sr1 10 Gary Hall Snr Gary Hall Jnr 4.1m $ 4.70   3 3 TIGER TARA NZ      Fr1 1 Kevin Pizzuto Todd McCarthy 5.7m $ 7.20   1 4 VULTAN TIN      Fr3 3 Phil Costello Chris Voak 6.0m $ 85.60   5 5 GALACTIC STAR NZ      Fr5 5 Skye Bond Ryan Warwick 7.6m $ 90.70   7 6 SOHO TRIBECA      Fr4 4 Kim Prentice Kim Prentice 9.1m $ 8.20   6 7 LENNYTHESHARK      Fr6 6 David Aiken Chris Alford 9.2m $ 11.00   4 8 SHANDALE NZ      Fr8 8 Mike Reed Shannon Suvaljko 11.5m $ 142.50   9 9 SAN CARLO      Fr7 7 Stephen O'Donoghue Rebecca Bartley 14.7m $ 46.50   8 10 HAVE FAITH IN ME NZ      Fr9 9 Mark Purdon Chris Lewis 16.4m $ 25.50   W1 Scratchings   OHOKA PUNTER NZ 11 DEVENDRA 12 MAJOR CROCKER 13 THE BUCKET LIST NZ 14 Track Rating: Gross Time: 3:34:5 Mile Rate: 1:57:6 Lead Time: 99.9 First Quarter: 30.3 Second Quarter: 29.7 Third Quarter: 27.4 Fourth Quarter: 27.2 Margins: 4.1m x 1.6m   Lazarus NZ, Inter Dominion Grand Final 2017     Group 2 $35,000 TABtouch Inter Dominion Consolation   8 9:05pm TABTOUCH INTER DOMINION CONSOLATION (SKY 1) 2936M $35,000 M0 Or Better. RBD. Mobile Results Pl  Horse Prize- money   Row & Br TAB # Trainer Driver (C = Concession) Mgn (m) Starting odds Stewards' Comments  1 THE BUCKET LIST NZ      Fr6 6 Michael Brennan Michael Grantham   $ 4.70   10   BAY GELDING 8 by CHRISTIAN CULLEN NZ out of SADDLE RIDGE USA (ARTSPLACE (US))  Owner(s): D T Roberts, D P Skelton, M J Harding, G S Black, P J Skelton, S L Beven, B J Anderson, G A Skelton, K L Grantham, M P Young  Breeder(s): Bruce Carter Bloodstock Ltd, R C Johnson 2 OHOKA PUNTER NZ      Fr7 7 Gary Hall Snr Gary Hall Jnr 3.0m $ 6.80   1 3 MAJORDAN      Fr4 4 Kevin Pizzuto Chris Alford 10.2m $ 27.70   8 4 MAJOR CROCKER      Sr1 10 Vince Vallelonga Mark Purdon 13.0m $ 4.10 fav  2 5 SIMPLY SUSATIONAL NZ      Fr8 8 Skye Bond Ryan Warwick 13.4m $ 30.50   7 6 JAMBIANI      Fr2 2 Ross Olivieri Chris Voak 15.7m $ 7.70   5 7 YAYAS HOT SPOT NZ      Fr1 1 S P Tritton, L R Tritton Lauren Tritton 17.8m $ 5.00   3 8 CUT FOR AN ACE      Fr9 9 Michael Brennan Kerryn Manning 18.6m $ 44.70   9 9 EGODAN      Fr5 5 Kevin Pizzuto Todd McCarthy 42.9m $ 46.90   4 10 DEVENDRA      Fr3 3 Todd Rattray Todd Rattray 48.2m $ 7.40   6 Scratchings   MOTU PREMIER NZ 11 CODE BLACK NZ 12 MR MOJITO NZ 13 AMERICANBOOTSCOOTA 14 Track Rating: Gross Time: 3:32:5 Mile Rate: 1:56:5 Lead Time: 96.5 First Quarter: 29.2 Second Quarter: 28.5 Third Quarter: 28.4 Fourth Quarter: 29.9 Margins: 3.0m x 7.1m   The Bucket List NZ, Race 8 Gloucester Park, Inter Dominion 2017       Group 1 $200,000 Retravision Golden Nugget Championship   7 8:30pm RETRAVISION GOLDEN NUGGET (SKY 1) 2536M $200,000 RBD. Mobile Results Pl  Horse Prize- money   Row & Br TAB # Trainer Driver (C = Concession) Mgn (m) Starting odds Stewards' Comments  1 ULTIMATE MACHETE NZ      Fr1 1 Mark Purdon Mark Purdon   $ 1.10 fav  1   BAY/BROWN COLT 4 by BETTORS DELIGHT USA out of REALITY CHECK (NZ) (ARMBRO OPERATIVE USA)  Owner(s): G J Kennard, P I Kennard, G R Douglas, K J Riseley, P J Creighton, M C Creighton  Breeder(s): K J Walsh, G P Walsh 2 MACZAFFAIR NZ      Fr6 6 Mike Reed Shannon Suvaljko 2.4m $ 91.60   3 3 HERRICK ROOSEVELT NZ      Sr1 10 Gary Hall Snr Gary Hall Jnr 3.9m $ 11.60   5 4 MOTU METEOR NZ      Fr4 4 Kerryn Manning Kerryn Manning 6.5m $ 16.60   4 5 VAMPIRO NZ      Fr2 2 Skye Bond Todd McCarthy 7.7m $ 56.20   8 6 ROCKNROLL LINCOLN NZ      Sr3 12 Justin Prentice Justin Prentice 8.0m $ 87.00   7 7 HANDSANDWHEELS      Fr5 5 Andrew De Campo Aiden De Campo 9.2m $ 39.10   12 8 ROCK DIAMONDS NZ      Sr2 11 Skye Bond Ryan Warwick 10.1m $ 33.00   2 9 SPACE JUNK      Fr3 3 Ross Olivieri Chris Voak 10.7m $ 35.60   9 10 IM ROCKARIA      Fr8 8 Michael Brennan Chris Alford 12.3m $ 73.40   6 11 OUR ZAK WHITBY      Fr9 9 Edwin Dewar Chris Lewis 14.5m $ 113.30   11 12 TISADREAM NZ      Fr7 7 Andrew De Campo Nathan Turvey 14.9m $ 84.20   10 Scratchings   MIGHTY MR SHARKEY NZ 13 WRAPPERS DELIGHT 14 Track Rating: Gross Time: 3:05:4 Mile Rate: 1:57:6 Lead Time: 67.8 First Quarter: 31.2 Second Quarter: 30 Third Quarter: 28.8 Fourth Quarter: 27.6 Margins: 2.4m x 1.4m     Ultimate Machete NZ, Golden Nugget 2017       Courage Tells NZ, Race 5 Gloucester Park, Inter Dominion 2017 5 7:22pm SLATER GARTRELL DRIVERS SERIES HEAT 4 MS PACE (SKY 1) 2130M $25,000 M1 To M3. RBD. Mobile Results Pl  Horse Prize- money   Row & Br TAB # Trainer Driver (C = Concession) Mgn (m) Starting odds Stewards' Comments  1 COURAGE TELLS NZ      Fr8 8 Skye Bond Ryan Warwick   $ 114.50   RAS INC 7 SWAB   BROWN GELDING 10 by COURAGE UNDER FIRE NZ out of TELLALIE (NZ) (LIVE OR DIE USA)  Owner(s): S A (Skye) Bond  Breeder(s): G W (Greg) Brodie 2 JOHNNY DISCO      Fr5 5 Ross Ashby Mark Purdon 1.30 $ 8.70   3WE L1W OTM 4 3 THREE BLIND MICE NZ      Fr7 7 Barry Howlett Gary Hall Jnr 4.20 $ 17.10   3WM L1W 2 4 MAXIMUM DEMAND      Fr9 9 Kevin Egerton-Green Chris Voak 4.40 $ 119.60   RAS INC 9 5 ARGYLE RED      Fr1 1 Robert MacDonald Todd McCarthy 7.50 $ 2.50 fav  PRBT GS L 1 6 JAXON FELLA      Sr2 11 Matthew Scott James MacDonald 8.50 $ 73.70   5 SFTR 7 FERNLEIGH REBEL NZ      Fr4 4 Clinton Hall Shannon Suvaljko 8.90 $ 33.70   6 8 RED SALUTE      Sr3 13 Ross Olivieri Kerryn Manning 13.20 $ 39.90   8 9 BETTOR REWARD      Fr6 6 Justin Prentice Chris Lewis 13.20 $ 10.90   RAS W3 10 SOKYS BIGBULLET      Fr2 2 Tony Svilicich Kim Prentice 20.30 $ 3.80   GS L1W W1 3WL 11 JOHNNY FOX NZ      Fr3 3 Ross Olivieri Chris Alford 28.60 $ 17.20   HOSU GS W2 3WLT 12 OHOKA DARCY NZ      Sr1 10 Nathan Turvey Marcus Miller 97.20 $ 8.70   3 B WI Scratchings   WEBB ELLIS NZ 12 BHAGWAN 14 Track Rating: GOOD Gross Time: 2:33:5 Mile Rate: 1:56:0 Lead Time: 36.8 First Quarter: 30.4 Second Quarter: 29.3 Third Quarter: 27.9 Fourth Quarter: 29.1 Margins: 1.3m x 2.9m   Courage Tells NZ, Race 5 Gloucester Park, Inter Dominion 2017       Group 1 $125,000 Westral Mares Classic   Ideal Alice gets a deserved win in the Gr. 1 Westral Mares Classic.   4 6:52pm WESTRAL MARES CLASSIC MS PACE (SKY 1) 2536M $125,000 Mares. M0 Or Better. RBD. Mobile Results Pl  Horse Prize- money   Row & Br TAB # Trainer Driver (C = Concession) Mgn (m) Starting odds Stewards' Comments  1 IDEAL ALICE NZ      Sr2 11 Gary Hall Snr Gary Hall Jnr   $ 13.70   5   BAY/BROWN MARE 7 by AMERICAN IDEAL USA out of BONSOIR (NZ) (ARMBRO OPERATIVE USA)  Owner(s): P M (Phil) Cook  Breeder(s): Philadelphia Racing Ltd 2 AMERETTO      Fr5 5 Kerryn Manning Kerryn Manning HD $ 2.70 fav  2 3 QUITE A DELIGHT NZ      Sr3 12 Justin Prentice Chris Alford 4.3m $ 67.90   7 4 EDEN FRANCO NZ      Fr1 1 Colin Brown Colin Brown 5.2m $ 4.90   1 5 A PICCADILLY PRINCESS NZ      Sr1 10 Mark Purdon Mark Purdon 8.2m $ 3.00   3 6 DONEGAL RUNDLESCREEK NZ      Fr7 7 Skye Bond Ryan Warwick 8.8m $ 95.80   9 7 SHES ARTFUL NZ      Fr9 13 Bruce Stanley Chris Voak 16.8m $ 161.50   11 8 MAJOR REALITY NZ      Fr2 2 Justin Prentice Justin Prentice 22.2m $ 10.00   4 9 MY RONA GOLD NZ      Fr6 6 S P Tritton, L R Tritton Lauren Tritton 29.5m $ 158.70   12 10 TRICKY STYX NZ      Fr8 8 Jesse Moore Aiden De Campo 30.2m $ 70.60   10 11 SHEER ROCKNROLL      Fr3 3 Ross Olivieri Chris Lewis 31.7m $ 27.90   8 12 BETTOR BE SUPREME NZ      Fr4 4 Barry Howlett Dylan Egerton-Green 39.9m $ 86.80   6 Scratchings   DODOLICIOUS 9 SARAH GOODY 14 Track Rating: Gross Time: 3:02:0 Mile Rate: 1:55:5 Lead Time: 64.9 First Quarter: 30.5 Second Quarter: 29.2 Third Quarter: 28.8 Fourth Quarter: 28.6 Margins: HD x 3.7m   Ideal Alice NZ, Race 4 Gloucester Park, Inter Dominion 2017   Dior Mia More, Race 3 Gloucester Part, Inter Dominion 2017 3 6:22pm RETRAVISION INVITATION LADIES DRIVERS MARES MS PACE 2130M $14,000 Mares. M0 To M2. RBD. Mobile Results Pl  Horse Prize- money   Row & Br TAB # Trainer Driver (C = Concession) Mgn (m) Starting odds Stewards' Comments  1 DIOR MIA MORE      Fr1 1 Annie Belton Kiara Davies   $ 1.50 fav  1   BAY MARE 5 by TINTIN IN AMERICA NZ out of I AM SPECIAL (LIVE OR DIE USA)  Owner(s): C Belton, A E Belton  Breeder(s): B S R (Brett) Coffey 2 BETTOR BLING      Sr1 10 Callan Suvaljko Kristy Sheehy 1.6m $ 8.00   3 3 MADAME MEILLAND      Fr9 9 Ross Olivieri Jocelyn Young 15.1m $ 9.60   6 4 CHEVRONS CHAMPION NZ      Fr8 8 Nathan Turvey Lauren Jones 18.0m $ 8.30   2 5 TAJIES GIRL      Fr5 5 Kevin Keys Rebecca Bartley 18.6m $ 77.60   7 6 ITS MY LUCKNOW      Fr2 11 Sarah Suvaljko Deni Roberts 21.0m $ 43.90   5 7 SEA ME SMILE      Fr7 7 Debra Lewis Kerryn Manning 22.8m $ 33.70   9 8 PARISIAN PARTYGIRL      Fr3 3 Bernard James Hannah Miller 28.0m $ 17.50   8 9 SHES TURBO CHARGED NZ      Fr6 6 Courtney Burch Courtney Burch 32.1m $ 37.90   4 10 C C CHEVRON NZ      Fr4 4 Matthew Scott Lauren Tritton 32.2m $ 30.50   10 Scratchings   SHES ARTFUL NZ 2 ALFA QUEEN 12 Track Rating: Gross Time: 2:33:1 Mile Rate: 1:55:7 Lead Time: 36.1 First Quarter: 30.4 Second Quarter: 29.8 Third Quarter: 29.3 Fourth Quarter: 27.5 Margins: 1.6m x 13.5m   Dior Mia More, Race 3 Gloucester Part, Inter Dominion 2017       2 5:52pm SKY RACING DRIVERS SERIES HEAT 3 MS PACE (SKY 1) 2130M $25,000 M0 To M2. RBD. Mobile Results Pl  Horse Prize- money   Row & Br TAB # Trainer Driver (C = Concession) Mgn (m) Starting odds Stewards' Comments  1 SKIPPY RASCAL NZ      Fr1 1 Callan Suvaljko James MacDonald   $ 7.70   GS 3 SWAB   BROWN GELDING 8 by LIVE OR DIE USA out of ROYAL RASCAL (NZ) (MAN AROUND TOWN USA)  Owner(s): E J & H M Anderson Nominees Pty Ltd  Breeder(s): M R Herman, M S Herman 2 SIMBA BROMAC NZ      Fr3 3 Nathan Turvey Ryan Warwick 1.30 $ 4.50 fav  GS L 1 3 WRAPPERS DELIGHT      Sr3 12 Ross Olivieri Marcus Miller 2.60 $ 12.70   W1 3WML 4 CARTER MICHEAL NZ      Fr7 7 Nathan Turvey Chris Voak 2.90 $ 9.80   RES W2 3WLT 5 ACE BROMAC NZ      Fr8 8 Kyle Harper Chris Lewis 8.00 $ 18.20   RAS W3 3WLT 6 CHAR DO NEIGH NZ      Fr5 5 Skye Bond Kerryn Manning 8.30 $ 91.10   RAS C 7 7 YOUR EXCUSED      Sr2 11 Bob Mellsop Chris Alford 8.90 $ 27.50   3WE RP 5 8 ABRAXAS BLUES      Fr9 9 Kim Prentice Gary Hall Jnr 10.60 $ 11.50   PRBT 8 RAS 9 MIGHTY MR SHARKEY NZ      Fr4 4 Skye Bond Shannon Suvaljko 11.20 $ 7.40   GS 3WE L1W 2 10 BRONZE SEEKER NZ      Fr2 2 Peter Anderson Mark Purdon 14.40 $ 10.40   GS 6 11 WARDAN EXPRESS      Fr6 6 Kevin Pizzuto Todd McCarthy 24.20 $ 5.10   GS L1W OTE 4 12 LISHARRY NZ      Sr1 10 Peter Anderson Kim Prentice 34.00 $ 37.70   B WI 9 Scratchings   SIGHTSEEING ANVIL NZ 13 BHAGWAN 14 Track Rating: GOOD Gross Time: 2:32:5 Mile Rate: 1:55:2 Lead Time: 36.5 First Quarter: 29.3 Second Quarter: 29.3 Third Quarter: 28.1 Fourth Quarter: 29.3 Margins: 1.3m x 1.3m   Skippy Rascal NZ, Race 2 Gloucester Park, Inter Dominion 2017         Group 2 $50,000 Binshaw Classic Aussie Delight wins the first race on the program, the Princi Butchers Binshaw Pace at Gr. 2 level! 1 5:22pm PRINCI BUTCHERS BINSHAW MS PACE (SKY 1) 2130M $50,000 RBD. Mobile Results Pl  Horse Prize- money   Row & Br TAB # Trainer Driver (C = Concession) Mgn (m) Starting odds Stewards' Comments  1 AUSSIE DELIGHT      Fr4 4 Garry Butler Chris Alford   $ 31.50   4   BAY GELDING 6 by BETTORS DELIGHT USA out of TEXAN COWGIRL (FAKE LEFT USA)  Owner(s): J D Bickers, K Bickers, D W Worrall, K R Worrall, T Bickers, T Bickers  Breeder(s): J D (Dene) Bickers 2 KHUN RATHA      Fr7 7 Andrew De Campo Michael Grantham HD $ 96.90   7 3 LIVURA NZ      Fr8 8 Nathan Turvey Nathan Turvey 5.7m $ 10.70   W3 4 THEREUGO      Sr2 11 Kyle Harper Kyle Harper 7.8m $ 6.40   W1 5 AUCTIONEERS ELSU      Fr1 1 Sarah Suvaljko Jocelyn Young 9.0m $ 8.60   3 6 TALKTOMEURMATTJESTY NZ      Fr2 2 Barry Howlett Chris Lewis 10.2m $ 2.00 fav  1 7 ADDFUELTOFIRE      Sr1 10 Linley Voak Chris Voak 11.1m $ 35.10   5 8 ASSASSINATOR      Fr9 9 Ross Olivieri Shannon Suvaljko 13.3m $ 83.00   6 9 BRAEVIEW BOMBER      Sr3 12 Glenn Elliott Gary Hall Jnr 14.8m $ 87.80   W2 10 THE TRILOGY NZ      Fr6 6 Kristian Hawkins Kristian Hawkins 15.7m $ 35.90   W4 11 MARY CATHERINE      Fr3 3 Andrew De Campo Aiden De Campo 16.2m $ 5.30   2 12 CHANGE OF ADDRESS      Fr5 5 Craig Abercromby Callan Suvaljko 38.4m $ 91.50   9 Scratchings   ROBERT THE BRUCE NZ 13 CAPTAIN PROUD 14 Track Rating: Gross Time: 2:32:5 Mile Rate: 1:55:2 Lead Time: 37.4 First Quarter: 28.6 Second Quarter: 29.4 Third Quarter: 27.6 Fourth Quarter: 29.5 Margins: HD x 5.2m   Aussie Delight, Race 1 Gloucester Park, Inter Dominion 2017      

Twenty-six-year-old Rebecca Bartley is the youngest harness racing driver in the $1.1 million TABtouch Inter Dominion championship final at Gloucester Park on Friday night and she will be handling San Carlo, the least-experienced runner in the Group 1 feature over 2936m. San Carlo gave a powerful frontrunning display to win a 2536m qualifying heat last Friday night and Bartley is confident the Victorian-bred seven-year-old by Mach Three will be strongly competitive in the biggest test of his short career. San Carlo was considered almost a hopeless case as a young pacer and he did not race as a two and three-year-old before making his debut as a late four-year-old with an easy victory in a $3000 R0 event in Bendigo in June 2015. He has blossomed since then for Steve O’Donoghue, a trainer from Kialla in the Goulburn Valley, and he goes into this week’s final with an impressive record of 21 wins and three placings from just 27 starts, all of which has seen Bartley in the sulky. His winning record of 78 per cent is bettered by only one of the other nine finalists --- the champion New Zealander Lararus, who has an 82 per cent winning record. Bartley and O’Donoghue never lost faith in San Carlo despite his wayward behaviour as a young horse. “He was really immature as a youngster and we couldn’t work him out,” said Bartley. “He kept galloping in his trials, at the start and in running. Finally, we just chucked him out with the broodmares. We didn’t really think much of him. “He came back into training as a four-year-old and his work became better. He’s pretty quiet, but is still a bit of a funny horse and every now and then has a brain fade. He’s probably more like a thoroughbred than a standardbred. “Small tracks are still a bit of an issue, getting him around the bends. But he was a lot better last Friday and he hit the line really well. The distance of the final will really suit him.” Bartley was born and bred into harness racing. Her father David used to train a small team and her parents encouraged her through pony trot ranks until she gained her A grade licence to drive at 18. She has driven 298 winners and will become only the second female to drive in an Inter Dominion championship final at Gloucester Park. The previous female to drive in an Inters final in Perth was Kellie Kersley, who drove Norms Daughter into fifth place behind the winner Young Mister Charles in 1996. O’Donoghue is thrilled to have a runner in the final, saying: “We’re stoked. We were excited to be just part of the series. San Carlo was at No. 43 in the early rankings and when he got to 30 to gain a start we weren’t thinking about making the final. It’s just a bonus.” Ken Casellas

Seven months ago, Chicago Bull had his right eye removed from the socket while a veterinary surgeon operated to cure an eye ulcer, known as a melting eye, and West Australian Hall of Fame harness racing trainer Gary Hall Snr had doubts about the small, inconspicuous-looking gelding recovering fully and being able to maintain his status as the State’s best pacer. The operation was successful, but then Chicago Bull had a few issues which concerned Hall and his son, champion reinsman Gary Hall Jnr. “So, we had a few little concerns, but now everything has gone smoothly and I give Chicago Bull a very good chance of winning the Inter Dominion championship at Gloucester Park on Friday night,” said an upbeat Hall Snr. “He’s had the fastest finishing sectionals of any horse during the series and you would have to say that he’s going to get a very good run from his barrier (the only horse off the back line in the outstanding field of ten). And I’ve got the best driver. “Chicago Bull is a bit of a sniper. He’s a little, tiny horse and even though he has been phenomenal, you look at him and get overawed looking at all the other horses against him. “He should have the last crack at his rivals and I think that there will be a few people (drivers) in the race who will be looking over their right shoulder.” There is little doubt that Chicago Bull is the best sit-sprinter in the $1.1 million TABtouch Inter Dominion championship final over the 2936m journey. Hall Jnr said that he was planning to take the sit behind the likely pacemaker Tiger Tara, who has drawn the prized No. 1 barrier and that it was simply a matter of when and how he would be able to get the gelding off the pegs and into the clear to issue a serious challenge. Chicago Bull began the series with a convincing all-the-way victory over 2130m on the opening night and then started from the back line in a 2100m heat at Bunbury’s Donaldson Park before having to turn sideways 120m from the post to get clear when he flashed home to finish a splendid third behind Soho Tribeca. He then was not extended in setting the pace and sprinting over the final two quarters in 26.8sec. and 27.7sec. to beat Tiger Tara in a 2536m heat at Gloucester Park last Friday night. “That last run gave me so much confidence, the way he hit the line,” said Hall Jnr. “Going back three months ago he was just a rough chance, at best, I thought but I have been very pleased with his form in the series. The 26.8sec. he ran for the third quarter was done on his ear. He was really relaxed and had plenty left on the line. He’s the one horse in the final who maybe can win from anywhere.” Hall Snr explained that Chicago Bull had been in danger of losing his damaged eye. “And I’m still not confident that his vision is unimpaired,” he said. “After he got over the operation I brought him back and he was unbelievable, with four wins from four starts in the space of five weeks in June and July. We were very happy with him and I spelled him before getting him ready for the Inters. “I think that was a mistake and he was a first-up fourth behind Jambiani early in September when he was a bit big (in condition) and then he tied up one day. I have hardly ever had a horse who has tied up. So, we had our concerns but it has been smooth sailing lately and he has had the right draws in the heats and I think he’s got the right draw in the final.” Hall Snr said that he thought that he would never win an Inter Dominion championship after The Falcon Strike, the warm favourite, raced without cover and finished a nose second to the pacemaker Jofess in the Inters final at Gloucester Park in 2004. However, that was not to be the case and Hall and his son have won the big event three times --- with Im Themightyquinn, in Auckland, Sydney and Perth. “There is no comparison between Im Themightyquinn and Chicago Bull,” said Hall Snr “We thought that Quinny would win all three of them. Chicago Bull is not as good as Quinny, but he can win this year’s title.” Im Themightyquinn, who retired with a record of 111 starts for 58 wins, 21 seconds, 13 thirds and $4,567,456 in prizemoney, will lead the field out on to the track on Friday night. Five-year-old Chicago Bull, who was a $110,000 purchase, has already amassed $1,112,069 in stakes from 27 wins and ten placings from 42 starts. The ten runners in Friday night’s Group 1 event have won a combined total of 224 races and have notched 159 placings for combined earnings of $10,746,880. Retaining favouritism is the New Zealand star five-year-old Lazarus, who is favourably drawn at the No. 2 barrier for champion New Zealand trainer-reinsman Mark Purdon, who has won the big race with Mark Hanover (Alexandra Park in 1991) and Smolda, at Gloucester Park 12 months ago. Lazarus is a grand stayer who has won at 32 of his 39 starts and was at his imperious best at Gloucester Park last Friday night when he started out wide at barrier seven and settled down in eighth position before surging forward to take up the running 1450m from home. He was not extended in winning from his stablemate Have Faith In Me, rating 1.54.5 which broke Im Themightyquinn’s track record for 2536m by 0.2sec. This followed excellent seconds to Soho Tribeca and Tiger Tara from wide barriers in the first two rounds of qualifying heats. “He’s come through the heats well,” said Purdon. “And I’m happy with his barrier. I think it is an ideal draw for him. It’s better than being out wide and he’s going to be handier than he has been in the heats. “I will play it by ear at the start. There will be plenty of speed on and the connections of Tiger Tara (No. 1 barrier) have made it quite clear that they intend to hold the lead. So, rather than getting into any speed duels, I’ll just try to be handy. If we’re caught in the breeze it won’t worry me, no. Lazarus can win from the breeze. I think that if I’ve got a horse capable of winning from the breeze, it is this horse.” Purdon said that he was far more confident of winning with Lazarus than he was with 12/1 chance Smolda last December. “I wasn’t really confident of taking it out last year, but you never know how a race is going to be run on the night. The speed was so torrid up front last year that it took a toll of the horses doing the early work --- and this played into our hands. The level of confidence as far as Lazarus is concerned is much higher than it was with Smolda.” Purdon said that he was pleased with the way Have Faith In Me was progressing. “He’s improving with every run and he might be getting back to his four-year-old form,” he said. “He will go back at the start from the outside barrier and then I’ll leave the tactics up to Chris (Lewis). He knows the track as good as anyone, probably better than most, so I’ll leave the tactics up to him.” Lewis has won the Inter Dominion championship twice --- with Carclew (Adelaide, 1976) and Village Kid (Brisbane, 1986). West Australian Kim Prentice, who trained and drove Baltic Eagle to victory in the championship final at Addington in 2003, has high hopes of victory with five-year-old Soho Tribeca, the leading points scorer after two wins and a close second to San Carlo in the qualifying heats. Soho Tribeca will start from barrier four and Prentice said that he did not intend to get involved in a battle for the early lead. “Hopefully, we’ll be one-out and one-back or one-two,” he said. “Three or four of the ten finalists might not front up the way they started the series, whereas my horse has pulled up an absolute treat after three runs in a week. “I know that I’ve got a very, very special horse and if luck goes our way we can definitely win. To get an easy run in the final heat was very good. I wasn’t out there to break any records or peel off a 27sec. flat quarter.” Trainer David Aiken said that the 2015 Inters champion Lennytheshark was primed for a bold showing in the final after winning an opening-round heat followed by thirds behind Galactic Star and San Carlo. “He has pulled up really well after his last run,” said Aiken. “I don’t know where he is going to end up, really. A few things that are going to happen early will determine how the race is going to be run. Lenny is versatile and is a tough horse capable of doing it tough. “If they go really hard and it develops into a war, he’ll come off pace and run home well. Six is a tricky draw for Chris (Alford), but I think that a lot of drivers have to contend with a tricky draw. I’m not going to take any part in determining tactics. I’ll let Chris work it out for himself. “Listening to all the experts, they still don’t know how the race is going to be run. Chicago Bull has a great draw, but if Tiger Tara gets crossed, then it’s not so good.” New South Wales trainer Kevin Pizzuto was ecstatic when tough and talented seven-year-old Tiger Tara drew the No. 1 barrier and reinsman Todd McCarthy will be determined to jump straight to the front and attempt an all-the-way victory. “He’s been massive and I’ve been booming him all the way,” Pizzuto said. “I can’t ask any more of the horse. He has been prepared for this race and he’s getting better and better with every run.” Twenty-six-year-old Rebecca Bartley, the youngest driver and the only female driver in the final, is confident the inexperienced seven-year-old San Carlo will overcome his wide barrier (seven) and figure prominently in the final stages. San Carlo raced without cover for much of the way when a fighting third to Tiger Tara and Lazarus in a 2100m heat in Bunbury before his strong all-the-way win over Soho Tribeca and Lennytheshark in a final-round 2536m heat. “He’s a strong stayer and the distance will really suit him,” she said. “He hit the line really well last Friday and as long as the speed is genuine he shouldn’t be too far away.” Ryan Warwick will drive the Skye Bond-trained Galactic Star, who unwound a spirited finishing burst to win a 2100m heat at Bunbury from Yayas Hot Spot and Lennytheshark. He will start from the No. 5 barrier and Warwick will have the option of taking advantage of the five-year-old’s excellent gate speed or preferring to angle toward the pegs and rely on a strong finishing burst. Ken Casellas

The $1 million Tabtouch Inter Dominion harness racing grand final takes place at Gloucester Park on Friday night – with NSW represented by two horses including Tiger Tara. Todd McCarthy will drive Tiger Tara from the one barrier, with NZ star Lazarus on his outside from the two barrier. That should give an indication that the speed will be on from the outset. The second NSW contender is Galactic Star (Ryan Warwick) who had one win in the series and has drawn barrier five. WA are pinning their hopes on Soho Tribecca who has won two heats and finished second to San Carlo. And as with all Inter Doms, there is always something to add to the record books. That happened last Friday night when Victorian reinswoman Rebecca Bartley won the eighth heat of the Inter Dominion at Gloucester Park with San Carlo. Bartley notched career win No. 298. She joined WA’s Kellie Kersley as the only woman to drive an Inter Dominion heat winner in a Perth Inter Dominion. It will be Bartley's first drive in an Inter Dominion final. On Friday night, Bartley will join Kersley as the only women to drive in a Perth Inter Dominion final. It was back in 1996 that Kersley won a heat of the Inter Dominion with Norms Daughter. She finished fifth in the final behind Young Mister Charles. San Carlo only commenced racing as a five-year-old and has 21 wins from 27 starts, making the horse the most inexperienced starter in the race. But Bartley has driven the horse for all of those wins, so she knows her steed. Howzat for Williams Racing Williams Racing picked up a winner at the Maitland harness meeting last Sunday with Comeon Howzat – in race start 161 – an all-the-way winner with Tom Ison in the spider. Comeon Howzat returned $17.90 to punters. Meanwhile, Shadow Dealer headed out west for the Sunday afternoon Dubbo meeting after his last-start win at Tamworth and came close to making it back to back wins. Shadow Dealer finished second with Wayne Gray in the spider, beaten by 1.8 metres, with the three-year-old seemingly heading in the right direction for a few more wins in the future. A return to Tamworth Harness racing will return to the Tamworth Paceway on Wednesday night, with the feature race the Roadwork Industries Dash For Cash. By Julie Maughan Reprinted with permission of The Northern Daily Leader  

When harness racing 6yo Dawn Ofa New Day gelding Vultan Tin enters the track at Gloucester Park on Friday night for the $1.1 million TABtouch Inter Dominion Grand Final he will become just the 28th Western Australian bred runner out of 178 starters in Perth finals. Vultan Tin is providing the dream of all hobbyists in harness racing in that he was bred by his owners Phil and Denise Costello and is trained by Phil on the same Coolup property where the gelding was born. Friday night will be a couple of days short of three years since Vultan Tin broke his maiden status in a 3yo maiden Westbred race at Gloucester Park on Saturday 20th December 2014. Willowcliffe was the sole WA bred in the final of the first Inter Dominion run on a Wednesday night – 19th February 1936. A stallion foaled in 1925 and bred by F W Godecke and W P Baker he was a son of legendary sire Alfred Donald from the mare Miss Willow. There has been at least one locally bred starter in every Perth Inter Dominion apart from 1940 when the field was dominated by progeny of Globe Derby and his son New Derby who produced five of the nine starters that year. Western Australian bred horses dominated in 1957 providing six of the 11 starters. Only one Western Australian bred has won an Inter Dominion final in Perth – Binshaw in 1967. Three WA bred horses in San Simeon (1st in 1981 in Hobart), Red Vicar (4th in Brisbane in 1972) and Daintys Daughter (4th in Melbourne in 1970) have started in Inter Dominion finals in other States since Binshaw’s historic win. The full list of Western Australian bred finalists in a Perth Inter Dominion follows; Winner Date Place Breeder Year Sex Sire Dam Willowcliffe 19-02-36   8 F W Godecke, W P Baker 1925 c Alfred Donald Princess Willow Stormy Weather 22-02-47   8 N S Craven 1938 g Peter Stretta USA Miss Eileen Kolrock 22-02-47   10 H H Richter 1936 g Kolect Miss Rock Dixie Stretta 22-02-47   2 G F Fraser 1937 g Peter Stretta USA Lily Whips Beau Don 28-02-53   9 L F Carter 1948 c Don Sebastian Nellies Vin Jack Oro 02-03-57   7 W Clarke 1949 c King Oro NZ Jacks Queen NZ Robert Sheen 02-03-57   2 A S Dreyer 1949 c Prince Robert Wilvasheen Magic Flute 02-03-57   6 T Early 1951 c King Oro NZ Star Song NZ Beau Don 02-03-57   8 L F Carter 1948 c Don Sebastian Nellies Vin Precipitation 02-03-57   3 T Bell 1951 c Wilver Mint Grand Elect Frosty Nelson 02-03-57   pu E C Waters 1949 c Nelson Direct Heather Lu Kolworth 03-03-62   8 J P Stratton 1958 g Kolector Ideal Girl NZ King Capri 03-03-62   9 W Clark 1956 c King Oro NZ Jacks Queen NZ Moonspeed 03-03-62   13 A G Richards 1956 g Speedy Raider Lady Monty Super Paddy 03-03-62   3 H L Cheshire 1956 g Superdel NZ Dainty Patsy Binshaw 18-02-67   1 B Cook 1961 g Bintravis NZ Panminton Color Glo 18-02-67   pu A M Ward 1960 f Wrack Again Mays Flame Velocipede 18-02-67   7 L Baldwin 1959 c Kellett Alliteration Haddock 23-02-74   5 J H Bele 1969 c Admiral Way NZ Snowbird NZ Indian Chant 19-03-82   9 G M Ward 1973 c Indian Lake NZ Wexford Lass NZ Paavo 17-03-89   9 A R Annear, D L Annear 1983 c Afella Rainbow USA Eldora Norms Daughter 15-03-96   5 S D L Palmer 1990 f Northern Lights USA Aeroflight Shattering Class 15-03-96   8 Patrician Park 1991 c Golden Greek USA Earth Shattering Faking It 26-03-04   12 Lombo Standardbreds Pty Ltd 1998 g Fake Left USA Sassie Brassie Buck The Odds 26-03-04   11 Allwood Stud Farm 1998 g Million To One USA Marilyn Ann Nats Nifty 26-03-04   7 N M Poyser 1995 g Trev Leo Thrilling Lombo Navigator 02-03-12   3 Lombo Standardbreds Pty Ltd 2006 g Million To One USA Lombo Anastasia Vultan Tin 08-12-17   3 P J Costello, D A Costello 2011 g Dawn Ofa New Day USA Ellevarrac     Alan Parker

With a first prize of $605,000 on offer in Friday night’s $1.1 million TABtouch Inter Dominion Grand Final a win will give star New Zealand harness racing stallion Lazarus the status of the richest offspring of Bettors Delight anywhere in the world regardless of the quirks caused by currency conversion between countries. The pre-post favourite, Lazarus has never missed a placing in his entire career and has finished in the first two at 36 of his 39 starts to date and first place on Friday will take his stakes tally to $3,317,139. Bettors Delight has sired 33 individuals which have each earned in excess of $1 million with 19 of them bred in the USA, 12 in New Zealand and two in Australia. His two Australian bred sons are headed by dual Inter Dominion champion Beautide $2,183,132. Currently the richest son of Bettors Delight is the American bred stallion All Bets Off with earnings of $2,932,554. The complete list of millionaires sired by Bettors Delight is as follows Horse Name Sex   Year    Dam Sire of Dam Stakes All Bets Off USA c 2011 Armbro Penelope USA Dexter Nukes USA $2,932,554 Darlins Delight USA f 2003 Town Pro USA Big Towner USA $2,901,926 Bettor Sweet USA g 2005 Sweet Future USA Falcons Future USA $2,782,353 Lazarus NZ c 2012 Bethany NZ Christian Cullen NZ $2,712,139 Southwind Tempo USA f 2004 Tsunami Hanover USA Artsplace USA $2,396,362 Betting Line USA c 2013 Heathers Western USA Western Hanover USA $2,238,518 Beautide g 2007 Gorse Bush Ticket To Heaven USA $2,183,132 Bettors Edge USA g 2009 Spring Wind USA Life Sign USA $2,010,627 Bit Of A Legend NZ c 2009 Sokys Legend NZ Sokys Atom USA $1,910,356 Adore Me NZ f 2009 Scuse Me NZ B Gs Bunny USA $1,677,032 Betterthancheddar USA c 2008 Lady Ashlee Ann USA Camtastic USA $1,636,086 Kenneth J USA c 2004 Advantest USA Artsplace USA $1,592,755 See You At Peelers USA f 2008 West Side Glory USA Western Ideal USA $1,573,260 Have Faith In Me NZ g 2011 Scuse Me NZ B Gs Bunny USA $1,444,872 Forensic Z Tam USA c 2004 Lady Indigo USA Falcon Seelster USA $1,346,924 L A Delight USA f 2013 West Of L A USA Western Hanover USA $1,296,724 Gold Ace NZ c 2007 Hill Of Gold NZ In The Pocket USA $1,247,053 Dynamic Youth USA g 2009 Always True USA Western Hanover USA $1,222,572 Vegas Vacation USA g 2010 Dont You Smile USA Grinfromeartoear USA $1,162,272 Domethatagain USA c 2009 Road Sign USA Life Sign USA $1,153,544 Tiger Tara NZ c 2010 Tara Gold NZ Dream Away USA $1,136,930 Venus Delight USA f 2010 Venus Killean USA Run The Table USA $1,135,356 Caribbean Blaster c 2007 Kalypso Safely Kept USA $1,113,677 Chicago Bull NZ g 2012 Chicago Blues NZ Christian Cullen NZ $1,112,069 Hulas Z Tam USA f 2007 Tsunami Hanover USA Artsplace USA $1,076,610 Fashion Delight USA g 2008 B Js Sunshine USA Artsplace USA $1,074,303 Arden Rooney NZ g 2009 Tosca Hanover NZ Walton Hanover USA $1,070,230 Symphony In Motion USA f 2004 Malocchio USA Albert Albert USA $1,065,949 Dream About Me NZ f 2012 Splendid Dreams NZ Dream Away USA $1,043,170 Bettor Cover Lover NZ f 2007 Front Cover Lover NZ Whats Next USA $1,026,427 Highview Tommy NZ c 2005 Baptism Of Fire NZ Christian Cullen NZ $1,021,904 Up Front Kellie Jo USA f 2006 Lifes Highway USA Life Sign USA $1,016,922 Ohoka Punter NZ c 2009 Millwood Minisota NZ Christian Cullen NZ $1,007,087 Alan Parker

Who will pull the trigger and when? That is but two of the many questions looming large ahead of Friday night’s Perth Inter Dominion, with harness racing pundits pondering what will happen in the first 800m and how that will affect the last 100m. Mark Purdon, Kim Prentice and Chris Alford joined RSN 927AM program Gait Speed today when hosts Jason Bonnington and Blake Redden prodded for answers to the biggest questions. Their hopes have all drawn the front line outside pole marker Tiger Tara, but Purdon and Prentice intimated Lazarus and Soho Tribeca wouldn’t be running the gate. That would potentially open the door for Lennytheshark, the eight-year-old Victorian with genuine gate speed and strength, and Alford declared the fan favourite had the ability to lead, it was just a matter of whether they wanted to over the 2936m journey. “I’m pretty sure that if we pressed the button early (Lennytheshark) can cross Tiger Tara, but whether that’s going to be in the best interests of the horses later in the race is another thing,” Alford said. “We will go through all the scenarios and come Friday we will know where we are at.” Prentice, having suggested Soho Tribeca wouldn’t be in an early dogfight, instead urged Purdon to do the bulk of the work by advancing his favourite to the breeze and pressuring the likely leader. “If they go hard enough early, I wouldn’t mind popping around to the breeze,” Prentice said. “I don’t think the lead time will be that quick … but I really think Mark has to drive Lazarus (so that he) is eyeballing Tiger Tara at the mile.” For his part, Purdon said he expected Lazarus would be placed one out-one back or two back in the running, and he would then decide when to make his move. “You want it to be a staying test. It will just depend how it’s run when you make a move,” he said. “In the event if they do back off I’ll be making a move, if they don’t I’ll be waiting a little longer.” LISTEN: PURDON, PRENTICE AND ALFORD JOIN GAIT SPEED Michael Howard (HRV Media/Communications Co-Ordinator)

It’s not unusual to see a feature in harness racing full of top bred horses, and Friday nights $1.1m Tabtouch Inter dominion is no exception. There is plenty of high calibre horses with impressive pedigrees in the ten horse race. Six of these runners are sired by Woodlands Stud stallions, and four of those are the top favourites for the event. With their sons picking up wins seven of the nine heats, the stallions have well and truly dominated the series thus far and look to have the upper hand to finish with a bang in the final on Friday night at Gloucester Park. Bettor’s Delight is the highest supported stallion with half of the field being sired by the champion stallion. He sired the first four home in both the New Zealand trotting Cup and the New Zealand Free-For-All, and there looks to be a chance that it could happen again in this Group 1 event. His top son Lazarus is the early favourite for the race after a terrific winning performance in the final heat last Friday. His other sons, Chicago Bull, Tiger Tara, Galactic Star and Have Faith In Me will also all have good chances given the right run. The later put in a brave performance in the final heat working hard early before sitting parked and running Lazarus into a length for second. American Ideal’s gun son Soho Tribeca has been consistent in the heats on his home track, winning two and placing second in the three lead up heats. The Kim Prentice trained runner has a tricky draw out at 6, but seems to handle the smaller track well so with the right run he will feature in the finish. The first two emergencies in the race, Ohoka Punter and Devendra are also sired by Bettor’s Delight. Harnesslink Media  

The best has been saved for last. The stage is set for the $1.1 million TABtouch Inter Dominion Grand Final at Gloucester Park in Perth this Friday night, the third and final harness racing series to be held in the west. Under their three year tenure, champions crowned include Lennytheshark (2015) and Smolda (2016) while another great name will be added to the honour roll. And it’s a fascinating contest that is set to unfold. The locals have stood tall throughout the series to date and provide half of the field including boom pacers Soho Tribeca and Chicago Bull while Galactic Star, Vultan Tin and Shandale could easily provide the upset result. A victory this weekend would be a huge boost for the local industry. Hall of Fame trainer Gary Hall prepares pint-sized wonder Chicago Bull, the Bettors Delight gelding is the 11th finalist for the champion trainer, already a three times winner (Im Themightyquinn – 2011/12 & 13). His other finalists include Faking It, The Falcon Strike, Livingontheinterest, My Hard Copy, Waylade, Beaudiene Boaz and Run Oneover. Gary Hall Jnr will partner Chicago Bull; it will be his 8th Inter Dominion Grand Final drive. Kim Prentice is no stranger to Inter Dominion success after winning with Baltic Eagle back in 2003 while finishing fourth with Big Town Walton the year prior. This year, Prentice has an excellent chance with Soho Tribeca, a winner of two heats while finishing a game second in the other. Galactic Star has qualified following his consistent efforts during the heats and provides Skye Bond with her maiden finalist, her husband Greg qualified Can Return Fire for the 2012 final. In-form reinsman Ryan Warwick takes the drive on Galactic Star and is hoping to join his father as an Inter Dominion winner, Colin guided Rhetts Law to victory in 1982. Trainer Mike Reed sends out his second finalist in Shandale after Libertybelle Midfrew represented his stable in 2015. Shannon Suvaljko takes his maiden Grand Final drive. Vultan Tin is the ‘true local’, born and bred in Perth by owner/trainer Phil Costello; the talented pacer will carry plenty of support. Chris Voak takes his second Grand Final drive after partnering Our Jericho last year. Champion New Zealand horseman Mark Purdon is chasing back to back triumphs and will be duly represented in the rich final by series favourite Lazarus and the fastest pacer in Australasian history in Have Faith In Me (1:47.5). It’s a lethal one/two punch. Purdon will partner Lazarus and it will be his 16th Inter Dominion Grand Final drive but his 8th in a pacing final. His other drives in pacing finals include Mark Hanover (x 2), Nippon Home, Bogan Fella, Young Rufus and Smolda (x 2). He is a dual Grand Final winner with Mark Hanover (1991) and Smolda last year – he has also won the Trotting Grand Final three times with Pride Of Petite (1996) and I Can Doosit (2011/12). Have Faith In Me will be handled by local champion Chris Lewis, a winner of more than 5000 races during his career. This will be his 13th Inter Dominion Grand Final drive; he scored with Carclew (1976) and Village Kid (1986). Village Kid started in four finals. His other drives include Black Irish, Hilarion Star, Ginger Man, All Hart, Crombie, Lovers Delight and John Of Arc. Victorian based horseman David Aiken is chasing another piece of silverware in the west, mighty pacer Lennytheshark is aiming for another title following his success in 2015 while his stablemate Hectorjayjay went agonisingly close last year when runner-up behind Smolda. Aiken has previously qualified Toby Duane, Tiffs Mystery, Ultra Jet, Insutcha, Karlsruhe, Jaccka Clive, Wartime Sweetheart, Lennytheshark (x 2) and Hectorjayjay for pacing finals while qualifying Twebby Twotter and Im Dejazzman for trotting finals. Champion reinsman Chris Alford will take the drive behind Lennytheshark and chases his third triumph after previous success with Golden Reign (1995) and Lennytheshark (2015). Alford lines up for his 9th pacing final drive after partnering Golden Reign, Tallowood Pursuit, Tailamade Lombo, Mont Denver Gold, Reba Rajah, Penny Veejay and Lennytheshark (x 2). He has driven Buntys Pride, Noopy Kiosk, Cool Fortune, Truscott Steel, All Action Son, Glenbogle, Conquer All, Solar Active and Im Dejazzman in trotting finals. Another Victorian trained finalist is San Carlo, prepared by Stephen O’Donoghue and handled by Rebecca Bartley, the Mach Three gelding is the winner of 21 races from 27 starts. Bartley is the only female driver in this year’s Grand Final while becoming only the second female driver to score a heat victory at Gloucester Park following the win of San Carlo last Friday night. Kellie Kersley became the first female driver to secure a heat when successful aboard Norms Daughter back in 1996. Iron tough pacer Tiger Tara is representing New South Wales and is trained by Sydney horseman Kevin Pizzuto and will be handled as per normal by Todd McCarthy. This is the first time Pizzuto has qualified an Inter Dominion Grand Finalist while McCarthy is lining up in his third final after previously partnering Seel N Print and Monifieth. In barrier draw order; 1) Tiger Tara by Bettor's Delight 2) Lazarus by Bettor's Delight 3) Vultan Tin by Dawn Ofa New Day 4) Soho Tribeca by American Ideal 5) Galactic Star by Bettor's Delight 6) Lennytheshark by Four Starzzz Shark 7) San Carlo by Mach Three 8) Shandale by Art Major 9) Have Faith In Me by Bettor's Delight 10) Chicago Bull by Bettor's Delight The Inter Dominion is the third leg of the 2017/18 Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit series and features both leg winners to date, Lennytheshark won the Victoria Cup back in October while Lazarus recorded another easy victory in the New Zealand Cup last month. Both pacers have amassed 100 points while Tiger Tara sits nearby with 80 points after finishing third in both the Victoria and New Zealand Cups. Just like the Inter Dominion Grand Final, the Grand Circuit battle is just as intriguing. Chris Barsby

The King of Gloucester Park has a plan to beat Kiwi champ Lazarus in Saturday's $1.1 million Inter Dominion final in Perth. And it involves going to sleep and then waking up mid-race. That is what Gary Hall believes is his only real option in the hottest harness race of the year on a track he has ruled for the last decade. Hall, who drives predominantly for his trainer father Gary senior, has won three Inter Dominions driving I'm Themightyquinn but his domination of Gloucester Park's major races extends to near-embarrassing levels. He has driven the winner of the state's premier race, the WA Cup, seven times and thinks nothing of bagging five winners at a metropolitan Friday night Gloucester Park meeting. And beating the Kiwis is nothing new to Hall, he has won more Grand Circuit pacing races than any other driver, his 22 victories eclipsing Lazarus's trainer-driver Mark Purdon's 20 wins. But for all his skills, Hall thinks they won't be required for much of the great race after his charge Chicago Bull drew one on the second line behind likely leader Tiger Tara. "It looks like I will be in the trail and I can just sit there and go to sleep for a couple of laps," says Hall. "There really won't be many decisions to be made until they start to up the ante over the last 1200m and then I have to work out when I try and get off the marker pegs. "If Tiger Tara stays in front and horses like Lazarus, Lennytheshark and Soho Tribeca all do some work around each other in those first two laps, then we have a great chance." But after thousands of spins around the Gloucester Park circuit, Hall admits to having one concern. "I'm pretty sure Tiger Tara will stay in front but the last thing I want is a tame early section of the race and then horses like Tiger, Lazarus and Tribeca being three abreast starting the last lap with no gap for me because they are so tough they may not stop." Lazarus is the $2.10 favourite with New Zealand TAB who have Chicago Bull as the $3.80 second pick. By Michael Guerin  

On Friday night America’s leading harness racing amateur driver Hannah Miller will take on the likes of Kerryn Manning (World’s leading female driver with more than 3730 winners), Rebecca Bartley (298 winners and driver of 2017 Inter Dominion heat winner and subsequent grand finalist San Carlo) and Lauren Tritton (798 winners) in the Retravision Lady Drivers Challenge at Gloucester Park. A supporting event on the mammoth 11 race programmed highlighted by the $1.1 million TABtouch Inter Dominion Grand Final and three other Group One races, the Retravision Lady Drivers Challenge is a new event on Inter Dominion Grand Final night. While she may not be well-known in Australia, Hannah Miller has done something very few Australian drivers have managed to do – driven against a field of American drivers who are all Inductees into the USTA Hall of Fame. The race was held at Goshen Historic Track in July 2016 and is an annual tribute race for the late Mr and Mrs Elbridge Gerry whose dedication and leadership and dedication to both Historic Track and adjacent Harness Racing Museum and Hall Of Fame helped those venues endure and thrive. The 2016 race featured all Hall of Fame drivers and Hannah Miller was the replacement driver for  Dave Palone who was unable to drive due to other commitments. Hannah Miller was honoured in 2016 as the Harness Racing Museum's and Hall of Fame's top amateur driver by virtue of being the top contributor to the Museum, waiving her driving fees to maintain her amateur status. "It's an honour just to be asked. It was absolutely not expected and it's a great feeling," said the 24-year-old graduate of the University of Central Florida at the time. The daughter of former Trainer of the Year Erv Miller and sister of top driver Marcus Miller, Hannah has been watching the drivers she'll be competing against for a very long time and also hopes to meet some horse crazy girls who may have visions of driving racehorses. "I've been watching them all compete since I was born and now to be able to go out there and compete against them is just an honour," she said. For the record the other drivers in last year’s Hall Of Fame Invitational Trot were  John Campbell, David Miller, Jimmy Takter, Bill O’Donnell, Wally Hennessey and Ron Waples. While Hannah didn’t manage to beat John Campbell home she did finish fifth with a couple of Hall Of Famers in her wake. The race was won by the Jimmy Takter driven Linda Marie which was trained by Jim Doherty Jnr whose father Jim Doherty drove at Gloucester Park on 11th December 1981. The race was an International Drivers Championship staged as a supporting race on the opening night of that year’s WA Pacing Cup carnival. Three American drivers in John Campbell, Jim Doherty and Eddie Lohmeyer took part against five Australasian legends in New Zealand’s Peter Wolfenden, Sydney’s Brian Hancock and Western Australians Fred Kersley, Phil Coulson and Chris Lewis. The three heats were won by Brian Hancock, Phil Coulson and Chris Lewis and Hancock headed the points tally across the three races. Of the eight drivers only Chris Lewis is still driving following the retirement of John Campbell earlier this year. Alan Parker

Western Australian Racing Industry Hall of Fame Inductee Fred Kersley met celebrated American harness trainer Erv Miller at yesterday’s barrier draw function for the 2017 TABtouch Inter Dominion Final. Born on 11th December 1966 in the Amish community of Arthur in Illinois, Erv Miller has put together a remarkable record as a trainer and since the USTA began keeping training records in 1992 Erv Miller has trained 5,100 winners of some $78,691,123 in stakes. Those figures place Erv in 4th place on the stakemoney won list of American trainers and 3rd on the list of leading trainers by number of races won. By way of comparison Western Australia’s leading trainer, in terms of career wins, Gary Hall Snr has trained the winners of some 2446 races and $33,619,313 in the same period. Fred Kersley trained 2285 winners including 1565 in Perth, where he was a 14 time Premiership Trainer,  before switching to thoroughbreds where he gained fame as the trainer of the legendary Perth galloper Northerly. Northerly won 19 of his 37 career starts and stakes of $9,341,850 including nine Group One wins in the Cox Plate (2), Australian Cup (2), Underwood Stakes (2), Caulfield Cup, Yalumba Stakes and Railway Stakes. In 2004 Erv Miller was honoured by the Illinois Harness Horseman’s Association with its Person of the Year Award and in 2005 Miller was presented with the Brian Pinske Memorial Award for his achievements on the Grand Circuit. That same year, 2005, Miller won the Glen Garnsey Trainer of the Year Award from the United States Harness Writers Association and the Delvin Miller Trainer of the Year Award from the Grand Circuit. Among the better horses that Erv Miller has trained are the 2010 2yo US Breeders Crown Trotting Champion colt Manofmanymissions, the three-time Dan Patch Award pacing winner Loyal Opposition (56 wins in 98 starts and $2,861,294) and the unbeaten 2yo pacing filly  Incredible Tillie (12 wins from 12 starts as 2yo for $512,782). Miller also trained Lis Mara, Shark Gesture and Shadyshark Hanover and that trio of stallions are currently standing at stud in either New Zealand or Australia. Erv and his son Marcus like the chances of Western Australia’s champion Chicago Bull in the Inter Dominion Final and at yesterday’s function they followed their opinion by paying second top price of $2,550 for Chicago Bull in the Inter Dominion Calcutta. Alan Parker

The all-important harness racing barrier draw for the $1.1 Million TABtouch Inter Dominion Grand Final was held at a luncheon today Sunday 3rd December in the Golden Nugget Ballroom at Gloucester Park. Here is the draw; 1) Tiger Tara by Bettor's Delight 2) Lazarus by Bettor's Delight 3) Vultan Tin by Dawn Ofa New Day 4) Soho Tribeca by American Ideal 5) Galactic Star by Bettor's Delight 6) Lennytheshark by Four Starzzz Shark 7) San Carlo by Mach Three 8) Shandale by Art Major 9) Have Faith In Me by Bettor's Delight 10) Chicago Bull by Bettor's Delight 1st Emergency - Ohoka Punter by Bettor's Delight 2nd Emergency - Devendra by Bettor's Delight 3rd Emergency - Major Croker by Art Major 4th Emergency - The Bucket List by Christian Cullen

When he lines up in the harness racing $1.1 million 2017 TABtouch Inter Dominion final at Gloucester Park on Friday night Tiger Tara will be having his sixth start in 24 days with all six starts at either Group One or Group Two level. On November 14th Tiger Tara finished third behind Lazarus and Jacks Legend in the $784,000 New Zealand Cup over two miles and followed that with a neck second to Ultimate Machete in the $234,000 New Zealand Free For All three days later on November 17th. Arriving in Perth on a Singapore Airlines charter flight on November 20th Tiger Tara finished second to 2015 Inter Dominion champion Lennytheshark in his opening night heat after working hard early from a wide barrier before being forced to race in the breeze on the outside of Lennytheshark. A good barrier at Bunbury resulted in a track record win and last night Tiger Tara was a gallant second to WA champion Chicago Bull again after racing outside Chicago Bull throughout. Purchased earlier this year from the stallion’s New Zealand owners after he finished fourth in last season’s Auckland Cup by Mikey Hawli, Courtney Pizzuto, Tanya Pizzuto and Kevin Pizzuto he has blossomed under Pizzuto’s training. Since entering Pizzuto’s Rossmore stables south of Sydney Tiger Tara has had 24 starts for 12 wins, four seconds and three third for stakes of $372,149. Tiger Tara’s overall record stands at 77 starts for 25 wins, 18 seconds, 11 thirds and stakes of $1,136,931. He was an outstanding 3yo, winning the Group One New Zealand Sires Stakes and Great Northern Derby on his way to being named New Zealand 3yo Colt Pacer of the Year in 2014. He also won the Group One New Zealand Free For All in 2015 as a 5yo. Under Pizzuto’s care he has won the Group Two Renshaw Cup and a string of Group Three races in New South Wales including the Golden Mile, Sydney Cup, Coca Cola Pace, Christmas In July Pace, Kevin Newman FFA and Nick Robin Memorial. Unlike many horses with a reputation of being tough, Tiger Tara also possesses high speed and he is capable of carrying it over a distance. Tiger Tara set a track record 1:52.3 rate over 2100 metres in beating Lazarus and San Carlo in the sixth heat of the Inter Dominion at Bunbury last Tuesday. When he won the Canadian Club Pace over a mile at his home track of Menangle on March 24th Tiger Tara covered the mile in 1:49.8. Tiger Tara is one of five runners in Friday night’s Inter Dominion final by super-sire Bettors Delight and his unraced dam is the 100% producing Dream Away mare Tara Gold. Tara Gold has five foals of racing age and each has been a winner which is hardly surprising as she is a half-sister to the Group One Fremantle Cup winner Power Of Tara which finished his career in the USA as a winner of 31 races and $907,000. Tiger Tara’s grand-dam Atomic Gold is a half-sister to the Group One New Zealand Easter Cup winner Matthew Lee 2:00.1 $281,850, Gawler Cup winner Home For Gold 2:00.8 $158,643 and the dam of Group Two Bendigo Cup winner Sammy Maguire 1:57.0 $241,382. Alan Parker

Harness racing driver Todd Rattray's dream of driving in the final of the 2017 Inter-Dominion is over. Devendra made a bold bid for glory in his third and last Heat of the Series on Friday night but could manage only two points to miss the final by the barest of margins. Going into the final round of heats Devendra was well placed, rated seventh on the qualifying list with 17 points for the Series. The result of Heat 7, the heat proceeding Devendra's, couldn't have turned out better for the Tassie champ. The first and second placegetters Chicago Bull and Tiger Tara were already ahead of the eight-year-old gelding on the series points tally and only Shandale and The Bucket List moved into contention. As Devendra moved up behind the mobile the consensus was anywhere in the first five would most certainly move the former dual Championship Heat winner into the $1.1 Million Final. In the Sky-Channel pre-race interview with Gareth Hall, Todd declared he thought he could lead with Devendra, the problem was  Rebecca Bartley driving pole-marker San Carlo ($2.80) had the same plan and the aid of the inside draw. As the arms on the Mobile drew back both drivers put the foot down, as they stormed into the first turn Devendra had almost crossed, but San Carlo continued to be desperately driven in an effort to defend the peg line. As we know only too well in sport and in life itself, it can come down to a game of 'inches'. Todd was forced to grab hold and sit outside the leader, that last metre required to cross safely just eluded Devendra and it would finish up costing him a place in the Series Finale. Lennytheshark quickly moved to the death seat and in turn Soho Tribeca moved forward to give the 2015 Championship winner a trail, shuffling Devendra back to second last at the bell. The pressure was at its highest in the final lap with only the top fancies ensured safe passage to next weeks 'Big Dance'. Devendra moved out three-wide at the turn but couldn't claim that vital extra point required to qualify, finishing at the tail. The Final Heat result also went the way that would have favoured Devendra but the damage had been done. When the night came to a close Devendra was one point short of claiming outright tenth and the final berth in the field, finishing in a four-way tie for tenth position. The Inter-Dominion Organising Committee retains the right to select a finalist in the case of a tie and chose Have Faith In Me after running second in Heat 9 to Lazarus, leaving Devendra as the second emergency. As for Todd,  I have no doubt he has replayed the race over and over in his mind since eleven o'clock last night, with any number of thoughts that included the most used word in sport - 'IF'. Decisions are made in a split-second and you live or die by them, that's the nature of sport at the highest level. Todd has the right people around him, it's very easy to say and much harder to do, but he needs to take the positives of the experience without being weighed down by the what if's. One thing for is for certain the 2017 Inter-Dominion Series would have lit the fire burning within this highly talented and committed young man. To come home, work harder and stronger, learn more and think even smarter, confident in his own ability and of experiences learned in the last seven days, a deeper understanding that there is still a higher level to aim for and much more to achieve. Shane Yates for Tasracng

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