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Inter Dominion Final Tips and Preview - Essential guide to the $1.1 million feature at Gloucester Park

Trent Orwin in Harness 8 Dec 2016
  • Detailed analysis of the 2016 Inter Dominion Final
  • Runner-by-runner comments included
  • Full ratings for the Group 1 feature
Gloucester Park harness racing (Credit:

Trent Orwin provides detailed analysis of the 2016 Inter Dominion Final (2936m) at Gloucester Park on Friday night. 

I’d love to hit you with a 100 per cent-confident speed map but this is what makes the race really intriguing now with the form horse of the series Hectorjayjay drawn barrier nine. He could still be lit up and has some chance of leading with the back straight affording more chance for runners drawn wider compared to the front straight where it’s rare to cross from such a position.

There is plenty of early speed with Bling It On, Run Oneover and possibly Franco Nelson all going forward at the start. I thought Franco Nelson wouldn't charge out when Lennytheshark was in the race but with the defending champion scratched, there is some chance they could chance the arm at the start looking for the pegs. John Of Arc is likely to be pressing forward too while Bettors Fire and/or Hectorjayjay may use their explosive early speed to try and cross the entire field.

Run Oneover isn’t the quickest from what I have seen but it is the Hall camp and I thought the same of Beaudiene Boaz before he let-rip one night and easily held Bettors Fire from the 2130m starting point (same as the 2936m release). Therefore, they could have this runner produce a career peak off the gate in order to lead.

So with plenty of speed map leaders in play, I’ve tried to account for a number of scenarios with my prices.

1. Bling It On

He has more than enough speed to hold Run Oneover but won’t be looking to get into a fight so could let that horse go. Alternatively, he comes out and sees how others out wider are travelling because it wouldn’t be great if he snagged at the start to let Run Oneover across and then have that horse be crossed by someone else as Bling It On would be three back on the fence.

Bling It On has been good throughout the series. He was held up on night one, won the heat at Bunbury before a third-placing on night three when racing on Beaudiene Boaz’s back and almost grabbing him on the line. 

Any pace on will suit him as he will be running home strongly and with some luck he has strong each-way claims in the race. 

2. Run Oneover

As mentioned earlier, I am not sold on his gate speed but that’s because there are a couple of lightning beginners in Bettors Fire and Hectorjayjay. 

This horse has exceeded my expectations this series and I dare say the stable’s too. He has always been a very good horse but he has stepped up with a runner-up performance from the breeze at $81. He then won at Bunbury when leading throughout before finding the lead with a mile left when Lennytheshark relinquished and holding him off on night three. 

If he can lead then he is one of the hardest to beat but if he doesn’t, he looks to be in store for a tough 2936m journey and I think he will be vulnerable late as he tends to over-race. Has each-way claims but I prefer a few others.

3. Our Jericho

Will restrain off the gate and head to the pegs. Expecting him to race behind Beaudiene Boaz which puts him either four pegs or five pegs.

Good barrier draws have helped but he has performed and deserved his spot in Friday night’s final. He flashed for fourth on night one, sat behind the leader and did what he needed to do on night two and was held up on the third night.

While it’s been a great ride for connections and trainer Ross Olivieri, it ends here because he will struggle to overhaul them. The distance isn’t a concern as he will relish it but giving better horses a headstart doesn’t make it easy. Will struggle to place.

11. The Bucket List

I've decided to keep them in barrier draw order so the number 11 saddlecloth of The Bucket List appears fourth as he will begin from barrier four. This is the rule in WA with first emergency taking the position of the first horse that is scratched in a respective event.

This horse is on the rise but he doesn't have the gate speed to get involved here and will likely look for a position quickly. 

Barrier draws were cruel to him in the first two heats and he could only manage a sixth and seventh placing respectively. Both runs saw him hit the line really well which was very encouraging and his effort on night three was excellent when making a three-wide move to get within 4.7m of Hectorjayjay.

A win wouldn't completely shock but he faces a tough ask in this and should be better for the experience in bigger races going forward. Place may be best-case scenario.

5. John Of Arc

Clive Dalton should be applauded for his management of injury-plagued John Of Arc. He should press forward at the start but his gate speed was found out last start from barrier one so maybe he restrains and then makes a move for the breeze if it is on offer. With Lennytheshark out, he has a greater chance of finding the breeze unless Run Oneover is in that position. 

John Of Arc has placed in all three heats under various circumstances. He worked and then came three-wide on night one, sat parked at Bunbury and raced behind the leader on night three.

I don’t see a favourable map for him as he will either have to do it the hard way or look to come three-wide in the concluding stages and I don’t see the consistent placegetter getting the win in the final. Place chance looks best. 

6. Franco Nelson

Lucky to qualify for the final. He could run the gate with Lennytheshark out now or he may just look for a soft run before looking to sprint home strongly late.

Two fifth-placings and a third in the series, he’s been solid without really impressing and faces an uphill task from this barrier.

This horse will need a lot to go right in order to win the Inter Dominion and part of that will require them going bananas for the early lead and expending their petrol tickets. Either that or having enough gate speed to cross the five horses inside so that he can relinquish the lead to a suitable rival. Prefer others.

7. Smolda

He’s a workhorse that always seems to do it the tough way in this company. He will restrain off the gate, settle near-last and then make a three-wide move in the final 1400m of the event (more likely 1200m). That was my thinking with Lennytheshark engaged. If Run Oneover leads then he looks the breeze horse (or John Of Arc) while he may still just go back and make a sweeping run.

Two placings from the breeze were followed up by victory in the final heat. All three runs were excellent.

If there isn’t much speed on and they turn it into a dash home he is going to struggle three-wide. If they burn early, keep a solid tempo throughout, then he gets his chance to run them down late. An each-way chance but at least three others have stronger claims in this race. 

8. Bettors Fire

A speedy beginner, it would seem that Kyle Harper has one choice; blast the arm and try to lead. If he finds the pegs he has winning prospects. If he doesn’t he looks to have Buckley’s and none. 

Leading throughout on night one, he was good on night two and then unlucky on night three when climbing over their backs. 

Lennytheshark's scratching makes it a lot more enticing now to roll the dice and try to get across them all. As such he has shortened from $51-$18 in my market because of the possibility of him finding the lead. His form reads well and he may try to lead throughout or hand up to Hectorjayjay in the run. Each-way chance at odds. 

9. Hectorjayjay

The in-form horse that has three options. Charge forward and hope to cross them or that the horse in front hands up, restrain and then pick a spot to make a forward move looking for the breeze (followed by cover) or making a single run late and looking to use his turn of foot to run past them all in the same manner as Im Themightyquinn in 2012.

He was unbeaten in the heats and never looked in danger. Not much more to add there.

The scratching of Lennytheshark makes Hectorjayjay more appealing. The stablemate had prospects of finding the front and I couldn't imagine they would have been handing up to Hectorjayjay. So now Hectorjayjay has a greater chance of finding the front which means his winning prospects significantly increase. I'm fairly keen on him now and anything around $2.20 looks a backable price. 

10. Beaudiene Boaz

Will get a soft run three or four back on the pegs which isn’t too bad. Gary Hall Jnr is the best driver when it comes to pushing off the fence and finding a run and if he was three pegs, he could shove the one-one or one-two horse out of the way and can be a threat late as sit-sprinting looks his go in the top grade.

Two runner-up performances and a fourth, all three runs have been good and barriers have been the only downside of his series. 

If they go crazy up front then this horse can pose a big threat late. He can run strong time and has the right driver for this scenario. The big issue is getting too far back and any lack of pace in the early or mid-stages will not help his cause. 

My Ratings:

1. Bling It On - $7
2. Run Oneover - $9
3. Our Jericho - $501
11. The Bucket List - $31
5. John Of Arc - $41
6. Franco Nelson - $31
7. Smolda - $13
8. Bettors Fire - $18
9. Hectorjayjay - $2.15
10. Beaudiene Boaz - $13

Selections: 9-1-2-10

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Inter Dominion Final Tips and Preview - Essential guide to the $1.1 million feature at Gloucester Park

Trent Orwin provides detailed analysis of the 2016 Inter Dominion Final (2936m) at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

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