Inter Dominion harness racing legend Brian Hancock has decided to attend the final of the Sky Casino/Christchurch Casino and it is starting to look as though he will need to bring a suit and a tie. He would be odds on in most betting books at the moment to be on the winning side in the clash for the Hancock-Purdon Trophy, an innovative feature of the 2011 Inter Dominions.
The Trophy, named in the honour of two of the most successful families in Inter Dominion history , is being presented for the first time to the country which adds up most points over the series. After the first round of heats most would conclude that Brian will be the one shaking hands with the winners and Roy Purdon will only be looking on.
But it may not be all over.
Shane Gloury, chief executive of host club the New Zealand, points out that things could change before it is trophy time.
"It is 3-1 to the Aussies after the first night but New Zealand might do better in the second round of heats and don't forget there is double points for the Grand Finals next week.''
There is one point for each heat winner and Dr Hook was the only earner of points for the Kiwis on the first night. In the pacer's heats the outlook doesn't look great for New Zealand team but strange things are apt to happen in Inter Dominion series as we well know.
Apart from the enormous impact of Natalie Rasmussen and Blacks a Fake, Hancock is still probably the best known Inter Dominion horseman especially through his masterly training and driving of Sir Vancelot, the first horse to win three Inter Dominion pacing finals. He is also a popular personality strongly in demand as a guest speaker but not one to appreciate the limelight. He usually likes to stay low key.
Tough luck Brian. Looks like you will be back in the winner's circle next Friday. Or can the Kiwis storm back ?
Shane GLOURY (CEO Addington Raceway)