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InterDominion Super Sunday preview

The highlight of southern hemisphere harness racing is the Inter Dominion Championship. Historically it has been a three-week series of heats and final, now after a set of regional heats, the grand finale is a final with a stunning support card. The shrewdest offshore harness punter, Ben Krahe, casts an eye over the whole day's programme.

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Preview of Super Sunday at Menangle Paceway 2 March 2014 by Ben Krahe - @benkrahe

A great day's racing awaits us for what is dubbed Super Sunday, and rightly so to. Seven Group 1s will be held and three Group 2s – surely enough to wet any racing enthusiast’s appetite. The headline act – the Interdominion is still Australasia's biggest race and the winners are only the elite – four-time winner BLACKS A FAKE, three-time winners IM THEMIGHTYQUINN and OUR SIR VANCELOT, dual champions GAMMALITE, HONDO GRATTAN and CAPTAIN SANDY, and other champions such as WESTBURN GRANT, VILLAGE KID, SHAKAMAKER and the list goes on. Accompanied by the Chariots of Fire, the NSW Derby and Oaks, The Glenferrie Farm Challenge for the square-gaiters, The Ladyship Mile for the mares, and the Bohemia Crystal FFA, which is a consolation for the big race. Below is a preview of the 10 race card. If you are heading out to Menangle on Sunday, it’s a great day and a wonderful track, and I’ll be watching from the cushy confines of my villa overlooking the clear blue seas of Thailand.

Race 1 – Young Drivers Championship
A great way to start off the day with my best bet for the day MAGICAL TELF. A noted sit sprinter with a devastating burst, Sam Ottley will be have to be very patient and not go for home too early on this horse, but even with her inexperience I expect MT to be storming down the outside and early on in the day, you will be able to double your bank balance and go to the beer tent very happy with the 1st race. For exotic players, TEO ENTEO is flying since it came to Menangle racking up 2 wins and 2 places from 4 recent starts. CONDAGEN which is drawn the pole, will also be flying home and is another noted sit sprinter. Others to consider are ON THE RAZZLE and POACHER.

Suggested Bet – MAGICAL TELF to win (Best of the day)

Race 2 – Lady Drivers Invitational
Another good thing to keep the momentum going is FRANCO NORIEGA. Danielle Hill from SA will spear this gelding straight to the lead and if it can run its usual 1.53 mark it will be extremely hard to beat. Those in the pack running for 2nd and 3rd will include the well drawn MEDAL OF HONOUR, WINDINHERHAIR, the bookies friend WESTERN ROCKSTAR and LETTUCEFIB.

Suggested Bet – FRANCO NORIEGA to win (2nd best of the day)

Race 3 – NSW OAKS
A great clash between former Kiwi trained NIKE FRANCO (now in the hands of Dean Braun) and Kiwi raider MY WILLOW (trained by Mark Purdon). Also in the mix are former champion juvenile MINDARIE PRIDDY, up and coming very good horse QUICK DRAFT, and NSW very nice horse SPICKY STRIDE. I think this is actually a terrible draw for race favourite NF. MW crossed it easily last time and the proceeded to hand up. If this scenario happens again the MP will be first to take the lead off MW which could lead NF 3 pegs. While all this goes on, QD may also be heading forward into the breeze. A great race, where I expect MW will get a split at some stage and may prove to solid.

Suggested Bet – My WILLOW to win

Race 4 – LADYSHIP MILE
Champion Kiwi ADORE ME steps across the Tasman here in what should be a procession for it. Those running for placings include former Miracle Mile winner BABY BLING (although not in quite as scintillating form), STEAM WASHED (flying in Melb and can run on), ELUSIVE CHICK (going for a hattrick of wins at the track), VANSUMIC and TACT HAYLEYS DELIGHT (both well drawn). As AM will be about the 4s on mark the suggested bet will be a F4.

Suggested Bet – 11/1,2,4,5,7/1,2,4,5,7/1,2,4,5,7,9,10

Race 5 – NSW DERBY
Expect YAYAS HOT SPOT with Lauren Panella on board to come out humming from near the outside barrier and then to put the handbrake on and look to take a trail. First there might be BLING IT ON, who took YYHS into the race last time. ALL BLACK STRIDE had a soft lead last time but wont get such a good run this time , and the other logical danger is Kiwi ISAIAH who looked much better last week around the big Menangle track. MAJOR CROCKER ran a huge race last week , I don’t expect it to be holding out YYHS though , and will be nicely positioned 3 pegs. IAM MR BRIGHTSIDE is the big surprise horse of this bunch and is currently airborne. I expect though that BIO – who has consistently been the best of his age this year to hold out a fast finshing IS and YYHS.

Suggested Bet – BLING IT ON to win

Race 6 – CHARIOTS OF FIRE
GINGER BLISS looks to get the early lead here. BORDER CONTROL should come to the death seat and be able to control the race from there. ELIOS went good 1st up from the Shaky Isles last week and is a definite place chance. MAJESTIC MACH hasn’t lived up to the early spruiks for mine and is a bit overrated as its not being gifted the lead anymore it’s the bigger races. The run of the heats arguably though came from GUARANTEED who stormed down the outside to win its heat. CHILLI PALMER actually beat GUAR last time but will need a miracle and plenty of speed on to win from the carpark. NOWITZKI won some big races in the west last time in but was only ok here 1st up against a much weaker lineup. FRANCO NELSON is an obvious danger from what will be a cushy barrier draw but I’m just a bit concerned about him. All in all a fabulous race in what no doubt will be a great formline leading into next years Grand Circuit races.

Suggested Bet - BORDER CONTROL and GUARANTEED to win

Race 7 – Interdominion Final
What a race. The only obvious omission is 3 time champ Quinny but for those that are presently racing we have the best that’s available.
1- IM VICTORIUS ($4.60) – Best of the west at the moment and although barrier 1 may look a good draw.. it will be 3 pegs at best for mine. This isn’t a bad thing though in these marathon races and if given an opportunity it will be storming home at the finish. 7/2 is filthy odds however. Should be double those odds at best.
2- LIVINGONTHEINTEREST ($61) – Ran 2nd in its heat after leading around the tight GP circuit. Wont be leading here or winning either. Unders - should be 500/1
3- SEEL N PRINT ($41) – If you told me a month ago this guy would win a heat then a lead up a week out I would’ve asked you what you have been smoking. However facts don’t lie and both weeks there’s been high speed on its races and this sit sprinter has won both last starts fair and square. The 3000m will suit but still only a rough place chance.
4- KEAYANG CULLEN ($18) – Good win after very soft run in track record time in the heat. Wont be behind the leader here and near impossible to see it winning. Think it will start a lot longer than the $18 on offer atm.
5- FOREVER GOLD ($151) – Won by far the weakest heat in QLD beating a bunch of walkers. The $151 is missing a zero.
6- MACH BEAUTY ($31) – I owned an ill-fated horse once by the name of The Hayne Train. Last January we decided to take it to Tamworth for a lowly rated final called the Golden Guitar. Guess who won it? Future ID heat winner and finalist Mach Beauty. FML. What’s the chances ? Anyway a year on and this guy has Scintillating gate speed and will cross to the markers first. Then he should be handing up to whichever of the favoured runners comes to the chair first. A good place chance but not convinced he can run a strong 3000m
7- WARTIME SWEETHEART ($151) – If this guy wins I’ll walk from Hua Hin (where I currently reside) to Bangkok – yes its 250km….
8- SMOLDA ($5) – Could be the horse to take the lead of MB. This guy is flying and a MASSIVE chance to win this race.. He is a freak, and if he wins I’m sure Australia will claim him as his own. Mark Purdon has this guy spot on at his 3rd run from a spell. His win first up had to be seen to be believed then ran an easy 2nd in what was a 400m race up the lane at Addington in absolutely unbelievable sectionals. I think he can win.
9- CARIBBEAN BLASTER ($11) – is there a more consistent Grand Circuit horse at the moment? Won a Chariots of Fire here as an outsider but has taken all before him since. Won the SA Cup, 3rd in a Ballarat Cup, 2nd in a Hunter Cup and 4th in an ID heat in his last 4 starts. If this guy gets the right run into the race he is absolutely capable of winning this. Will be probably be about 5/2 a place is a great ew bet in the race.
10- THE GOLD ACE ($15) – Not the worst $15 chance in a Group 1 I’ve ever seen. If Smolda isn’t the one to wrestle the lead of Mach Beauty this guy might be. Has great gate speed and from the outside of the front I can see him heading forward into a nice spot. A model of consistency lately which includes a 6th in the Victoria Cup, 1st in the Shepparton Cup, 6th in the Ballarat Cup, 3rd in the Hunter Cup and 3rd in the ID Heat , I can definitely see this guy in the first 4 or so.
11- RESTREPO ($12) – Previously a great sit-sprinter , he opted to try and lead all the way in the heat only to be run down by Keayang Cullen who had the much better run in track record time. Is obviously flying , and although I wasn’t sure this horse was Grand Circuit material a year ago, he has proven me wrong. The draw isn’t ideal and may be 4 pegs , but if the heavens open up he can storm home into a place. Will get better than $12 on the day if you fancy him
12- BEAUTIDE ($3.80) – Tassie and Miracle Mile champ BEAUTIDE deserves favourtism but its not all cut and dried. I thought it was a tad disappointing last week, and is also suspect at the championship distance of 3000m. Decisions will have to be made with it on whether to go forward early or whether to come with a withering burst – the way it won the Miracle Mile. I tipped him in the MM but today I think this may be beyond him and am happy to lay him at under 3/1
13- FOR A REASON ($7) – Comeback horse Frank the Tank loves the circuit and has won its only start over this distance range. Expect champion reinsman Luke McCarthy to position this guy up in the back half of the field and get a tag into the race. If they “go like the clappers” in the lead , then there isn’t a runner that can match him down the lane. He will come storming home and has explosive speed when left for one run. Won the Victoria Cup at huge odds, expect him to be in the finish. Definitely include in the multiples
14- TERROR TO LOVE ($11) – Was ready to tip the Kiwi Champ until the horror draw. Not sure where he gets to now.. Does he go early and get a forward position? I think its his only chance. Menangle record on paper doesn’t read well but has won 6 from 11 over the 3000m. Surely that’s important? Menangle form suspect? Well it has run 2nd in a Miracle Mile 4th in an Interdom final and 2nd in a Cordina Sprint, so its definitely not a mug around this circuit as some may suggest. I think this guy can run a huge race even from the visitors draw and leave this guy out of your multiples at your own peril
15- FRANCO NELSON – SCRATCHED
16- PUB BLITZ ($151) – 1st emergency that probably wont get a start. Better suited to the later FFA. Can’t win even with 50m head start
17- ARDGHAL ($151) – 2nd emergency. Kiwi Import that got beat in a c2-c4 at Maitland 4 starts ago. In an ID final now? Please…Tab… come on I know your system allows more than 150/1
SUGGESTED BET – SMOLDA to win
TRIFECTA SELECTION – 8-14-9-13
SUGGESTED F4 – 8,9,12,13,14/8,9,12,13,14/1,8,9,10,11,12,13,14/1,8,9,10,11,12,13,14

Race 8 – Bohemia Crystal FFA
The consolation for the ID brings together a capable group. JIVIN CULLEN is current favourite and probably deserves it after a good run in its heat. At the shortish quote though happy to bet around it. IM CORZIN TERROR finally got the win it deserved last time in the Terang Cup and will be in the firing line from the get-go. MAH SISH has been disappointing of late but did well last start when 5th in the Brian Hancock Cup in 1.50.2.

Suggested Bet – IM CORZIN TERROR to win

Race 9 – Glenferrie Farm Challenge
The trotting event for the day brings together the best from Australia and NZ. MY HIGH EXPECTATIONS is airborne at the moment stinging together 6 wins in a row. The obvious leader in the race, I expect it to be winning this race. MASTER LAVROS probably wont appreciate the barrier 1 draw. He is arguably NZ’s best trotter but will need luck from there. VULCAN isn’t quite going as good as when it won the Great Southern Star last year, but hinted it was back to something like its best last start. I SEE ICY EARL is flying and with speed on and the right run can figure in the placings. STENT is another extremely smart Kiwi who is in form. If FLYING ISA gets a start (2nd em) it will definitely be in the mix too. KEYSTONE DEL is 10/16 at the track and 5/6 at the distance including a 1.54 mile rate so obviously is no mug but today is the big league.

Suggested Bet – MY HIGH EXPECTATIONS at around the 6/4 mark looks good.

Race 10 – Allied Express Carnival Stakes
I’m sure the pockets (and the belly) is full by now, so it wont be the get-out stakes but the fill-up stakes for us today. Arguably the toughest race of the day so if you’ve had enough get out after backing the last trot winner. If you must have a bet then maybe today is the day for PACHACUTI. Has been a little disappointing recently but there is speed galore here. SHIPWRECK, GOD SEND, SATELLITE ACE and BETTOR BET BLACK will be all searching for the lead. With this speed battle going on, PACHA, could be left with the gun run from the barrier and be too good for them. As I said though, if you are already way in front (as I suspect) then be happy and enjoy what has no doubt been a fantastic day's racing.

Suggested Bet – Something small on PACHACUTI each way

Congratulations also must go to HRNSW on their marketing for this day and to again gain access to Free-to-air TV coverage for the final. The more people that see this spectacle the better and hopefully will get a new audience.

My tips (and rants) can be found on twitter - @benkrahe.
BEST OF LUCK FROM SUNNY THAILAND

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