The Inter Dominion Grand Final will be a moment of change.
During the past decade, two names have become synonymous with harness racing’s premier event, Queensland champion Blacks A Fake recorded victories in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2010 thus becoming the only horse to win the series four times while West Australian wonder horse Im Themightyquinn has claimed the past three editions.
Sadly, the 2014 TAB.COM.AU Inter Dominion Pacing Championship on Sunday at Menangle won’t feature either of these immortal pacers.
On the flipside, a brand new name will be etched onto this famous honour roll.
It also means another Grand Circuit champion will be crowned.
Following the heats that were conducted at five different venues within the space of eighty minutes a fortnight ago, the stage is now set for an epic final.
Star Kiwi pacers Terror To Love and Smolda will both carry strong support while Victorian quartet Keayang Cullen, Restrepo, Wartime Sweetheart and Caribbean Blaster all boast legitimate claims.
Queensland mare Forever Gold is the sole female runner in the rich final while Im Victorious and Livingontheinterest represent the sand gropers.
Flying the flag for the host state will be Seel N Print, Mach Beauty, The Gold Ace, For A Reason and Beautide (although he carries the weight of a state in Tasmania).
The barrier draw has certainly raised several questions with many of the key chances drawing the second-line in the 3009m event leaving bookmakers and form experts scratching their heads as they attempt to map the race.
Last year, Im Themightyquinn produced a stunning burst of speed as he sailed down the crown of the track leaving many of the belief that a leader can’t take the field all the way.
So many theories and so many scenarios.
And the race to be crowned the 2013/14 Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit champion continues.
Christen Me (260 points) leads the way following his gritty performance in the Hunter Cup last month in Melbourne before connections decided against starting in the Trans-Tasman feature paving the way for a challenger to emerge.
With only two legs remaining, the chance to be crowned still has two legitimate players who both start this weekend.
For A Reason (160 points) and Terror To Love (104 points) can clinch the title from Christen Me if successful in the Inter Dominion Grand Final followed by the Auckland Cup which will be staged five days later.
It’s a tall order but both pacers possess the brilliance to snatch the title from Christen Me who already has one hand on the trophy.
The race to be crowned Grand Circuit champion is just another sidelight to what shapes as an intriguing race.
By Chris Barsby (Harness Racing Australia)