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Inter Dominion Final

After three rounds of heats, it's now time for the richest race in Australasian harness racing, the Inter Dominion Final.

Our regular pundit, WA harness specialist Trent Orwin, @themightytrent3, has appeared courtesy of BettingPro throughout the carnival, and once again, he shares his assessment of the feature race.


Inter Dominion Final
Gloucester Park, Perth
$1.3m, Group 1, Grand Circuit
Sunday Dec 13, 1450 local, 1750 AEDST, 0650 GMT
2536m, Mobile Start.

Form guide

1. Lovers Delight – $7 William Hill

Gets an ideal draw to set the pace and they won’t be handing up with him unless he gets crossed early. He defeated Lennytheshark by a narrow margin after finding the front last start and is capable of running strong sectionals. Regular driver Chris Lewis takes the reins and he is one of the very best when it comes to rating a leader. The downside is there is sure to be plenty of pressure but he does have toughness. Looks a strong each-way chance in the race.

2. Waylade – $9 Ladbrokes

This looks a good draw for this promising five-year-old from the Gary Hall Snr stable. Another superstar local drives in the form of Gary Hall Jnr. His run last start was excellent when leading the three-wide train and wasn’t beaten far. There is every possibility that he will be able to trail Lennytheshark in the run. Each-way chance from this draw.

3. Lennytheshark – $2.05 William Hill

The most impressive runner in the series thus far with two victories in the heats and a narrow second placing. His turn of foot is his greatest weapon and he will be close to the action from barrier three. The breeze looks the most likely position for him but he could take cover on a suitable rival knowing he could run past them late. Chris Alford is a champion driver and Lennytheshark rates as the horse to beat.

4. Philadelphia Man – $6.50 Sportsbet

Along the same lines as Lennytheshark, this fellow Victorian pacer has really impressed me throughout the series and should be midfield early in the race. Gavin Lang is cool under pressure and will have options during the race. Expect him to race around the 1 out 2 back position before coming three-wide in the final 1000m-1200m. Each-way chance.

5. Our Blackbird – $101 bet365

He is a one-trick pony and will get his opportunity to use that trick by racing on the pegs before showing his customary turn of foot. Should land three back on the fence behind Flaming Flutter and has the potential to be a complete knockout (more so for the place at $15+ odds). He ran second when racing behind the leader in the opening heat. Knockout hope.

6. Libertybelle Midfrew – $61 Sportsbet

The only mare in the race (and the entire series for that matter) will need heaps of luck to be in the finish. Likely to be four back on the pegline and a midfield finish would be a good effort. She was an excellent last-start winner but there won’t be any lead for her this time around and it’s hard to make a case for her against this company.

7. Avonnova – $51 bet365

Queensland’s sole representative and he will need a stack of luck to be figuring in the finish here. He has performed well throughout the heats and his toughness has allowed for him to thrive on this style of racing. He would love to get close to the speed but that looks unlikely and he isn’t the same horse coming from behind. I’d be looking elsewhere in the race.

8. Devendra – $10 William Hill

If there was a coach’s award for the series, this guy would get it. He wasn’t even in the top 30 when he boarded the flight to Perth and was the last horse to make the series. Two heat wins later and he stamped himself as a serious contender. Trainer-driver James Rattray has won the past two Inter Dominions with Beautide. Looks versatile but the wide-draw is not ideal. All scenarios lead to him covering heaps of ground. Each-way chance but looks under the odds at $10.

9. My Hard Copy – $17 Sportsbet

One of the quickest closers in the race, he is going to need heaps of luck and a crazy tempo to get involved in the finish. His WA Pacing Cup win was awesome and the same will be required here in order for Clinton Hall to get the sit-sprinter over the top of rivals. If he had drawn close to the speed he would have been a massive winning chance. Still an each-way chance but I’d be wanting a bigger price for him.

10. Flaming Flutter – $26 Sportsbet

A difficult horse to assess and his last run was fairly plain when Devendra raced straight past him. Racing on the pegs could help his cause and Lovers Delight should be a good helmet to follow. The staying trip is a plus and he was runner up in the Menangle edition earlier this year. If they sprint home then I fear he won’t catch a few, but if they have run along and there are tired legs then he looks the opportunist from the draw. Each-way chance and looks value in the race.

11. Major Crocker (First Emergency) – $51 William Hill

I won’t give an assessment as he isn’t in the field at present.

12. Blazin N Cullen (Second Emergency) – $51 bet365

Same as Major Crocker except even more unlikely to gain a start so no assessment will be given.


Regular followers of my Bettingpro column will know that we are on My Hard Copy at around the $34-$41 mark and Lovers Delight at $41 as tipped before and during the series.

Starting off with the speed map, Lovers Delight has enough gate speed to hold the lead and there won’t be handing up with this pacer. Lennytheshark looks the early breeze horse and it is difficult to predict whether he would hand up that position.

Flaming Flutter should be able to muster enough pace to trail Lovers Delight, but don’t be surprised if Waylade tries to duck in if Lovers Delight is forced to go full throttle early to repel Lennytheshark and/or Devendra.

Assuming Flaming Flutter is behind Lovers Delight, Our Blackbird should be three back on the markers with Libertybelle Midfrew four back on the fence.

Philadelphia Man should drop straight into the moving line and could be 1 out 2 back early if Waylade stays in the 1 out 1 back position behind Lennytheshark. The rest of the moving line should consist of Avonnova, Devendra and My Hard Copy – the latter may head for the pegs and then look to get off later in the race.

Lennytheshark has been the horse that has impressed me the most throughout the series and he looks hardest to beat. Bookmakers have found his right price and others are offering an odds-on quote which looks too short.

I am struggling to find any real standout value in the race and that is a credit to the field and the barrier draw/speed map configuration.

It is hard seeing Lennytheshark missing the top three and he will be the banker for our trifecta combinations.

Each one will have him as a standout runner to win, run second and also third.

Lovers Delight, Waylade and Philadelphia Man look the three main dangers and I will be having them in a group to either win or run second and adding Our Blackbird, Devendra, My Hard Copy and Flaming Flutter into the wider group.

Along with three trifecta combinations, I am happy to be on Flaming Flutter who looks good each-way value.

He should be behind the leader and while he doesn’t have a great change of speed, he can follow speed and a strong tempo should suit him.

The one that I like, mainly for the place, at knockout odds is Our Blackbird who will get a soft run on the pegs. He ran second behind Lennytheshark in the opening round after enjoying a soft passage and his turn of foot could be seen late in the piece.


Trifecta: 3/1,2,4/1,2,4,5,8,9,10 ($21 for 100%)
Trifecta: 1,2,4/3/1,2,4,5,8,9,10 ($21 for 100%)
Trifecta: 1,2,4/1,2,4,5,8,9,10/3 ($21 for 100%)

Flaming Flutter each-way ($26 with Sportsbet)
Our Blackbird each-way ($101w & $14.10p with William Hill)


My ratings for the Inter Dominion Final. All prices add up to 100% and are the odds that I believe each runner should be in the final – any price above the rating is considered ‘value’ or an ‘overlay.’

1. Lovers Delight - $6
2. Waylade - $10
3. Lennytheshark - $2.20
4. Philadelphia Man - $7
5. Our Blackbird - $101
6. Libertybelle Midfrew - $251
7. Avonnova - $251
8. Devendra - $31
9. My Hard Copy - $31
10. Flaming Flutter - $14


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Villiers Stakes preview

The highlight of summer racing in Sydney is the Villiers Stakes. Tasked with the preview is Mitch Fenton.


Villiers StakesRandwick, G2, 1600m
1615 local time, 0515 GMT

Form link

Twitter: @weekndkngracing
Facebook: /weekendking

The most reliable guide to the Gr2 Villiers has always been the Festival Stakes.

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1 I'm Imposing (55.5) 20-1
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8 [4.3] Aomen (58.5) 30-1
11 [6.8] Monton (60) 16-1
12 [8.0] Keep Cool (54) 80-1

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