Inter Dominion Grand Final fever is reaching a pitch in Perth as Friday fast approaches, with harness racing trainers Gary Hall (Im Themighyquinn) and Lance Justice (Smoken Up) declaring that their respective runners "couldn't be any better".
No matter how one looks at the race, it certainly appears that it will be a three horse race, with evergreen 9-Y-0 stallionthe blow out chance from the pole.
To assist Harnesslink readers, listed below is a brief summary of the field and their chances :
: Coming good at the right time judging by his record breaking performance in the final round of heats. Looks a certain leader and providing no great pressure is applied, will be hard to run down.
Lombo Navigator : Likely to immediately drop to the back ofand enjoy the run of the race. Will look a place chance at some stage, but will probably be outclassed over the concluding stages.
Raglan : An opportunist who has raced well throughout the series. Likely to get a good passage and can sprint home hard off a swift speed – a must for multiple players.
Crombie : Has been the surprise package of the series and most likely would have won last week only for handing up the lead toand never getting a clear run on turning. Has a place chance should he receive a nice trip.
Mysta Magical Mac : Speedy type who is likely to go forward from the gate, then look for a sit. Appears to be outclassed however and it would be a shock to see him placed.
Smoken Up : Champion pacer who has gone through the series unbeaten. Drawn awkwardly but driver John Justice will no doubt put the foot to the floor in an effort to park outsideand will probably have a crack for the lead. With his “never say die” attitude will look a big danger at some stage, but after a tough passage, may be vulnerable over the concluding stages.
Im Themightyquinn : Also unbeaten throughout the series and has looked awesome in each victory. The barrier will hold no terrors as he will be eased at the start before unleashing a powerful sprint in the last lap. In the form he is in and his fondness of the track, looks the winner.
Can Return Fire : Did a good job to make the final, but is only there to make up the numbers.
: The third of the unbeaten brigade who has grown a leg since arriving in Perth. Couldn’t have drawn worse and will probably be taken back off the gate to trail Im Themightyquinn all through the race. It is highly unlikely he will be able to outsprint him on turning, but is a strong place chance should those at the head of the field get tired.
SELECTIONS : IM THEMIGHTYQUINN -1, MR FEELGOOD – 2, SMOKEN UP – 3, RAGLAN – 4
BETTING OPTIONS WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 29.
$5 (TAB Sportsbet) $4.20 (Player W-A fixed odds)
Lombo Navigator ($71 - $56)
Raglan ($17 - $31)
Crombie ($26 - $34)
Mysta Magical Mac ($61 - $126)
Smoken Up ($3.20 - $4.20)
Im Themightyquinn ($2.10 - $2.00)
Can Return Fire ($101 - $151)
($7.50 - $7)
by Len BAKER in Perth
The 2011 Grand Final at Alexandra Park, Auckland: