The man who has won a record seven New Zealand Trotting Cups would dearly love to add his first Interdominion title to his harness racing CV, and with luck in the running Ricky May believes Terror To Love can do just that at Menangle on Sunday afternoon.
Trainer Graham Court has described the New South Wales track as a “graveyard”, but May believes the fifth equal favourite ($10) on the New Zealand TAB can win.
“I know the draw (14) is a shocker but he’s a champion horse and is primed for a big one. All he will need is a bit of luck, and I will be driving him for that.
“I certainly think he’s good enough to overcome his fourth in the race last year. I’ll certainly be giving him every chance,” May said.
May has finished runner-up twice with Iraklis (1999) and Monkey King (2007) in previous Inter Dominion grand finals and said if Terror To Love could go one better he would realise a dream.
“Any Group race is great to win, but the Inter Dominion is particularly special. That would cap off my career nicely. I could even retire couldn’t I?” he joked.
“Graham has made a few changes to his shoes, which should assist him on that track. In big races like this that can be the difference,” he added.
Sunday’s $750,000 grand final will be run from the 3009m mobile. There will be a new champion crowned shortly after 5.40pm (NZ time) because Im Themightyquinn has won the last three grand finals.
It will be an evenly fought contest with eight of the 14 starters paying $12 or less on the New Zealand TAB.
“Terror opened up at $13 and there has apparently been a couple of big bets on him. I’m just really happy to be driving in the great race. There’ll be a bit of pressure alright but I’m used to that. He is my only drive at the meeting so I’m going to sit back and enjoy the rest of the racing from the grandstand.
Tasmanian star Beautide will be toughest for race favourite and Kiwi hopeful Smolda to beat.
“Smolda sat on our back in the qualifying race and we held him out. Smolda has a very good sprint on him, so to beat him - I’m really pleased with where ‘Terror’ is at,” said May.
Smolda has also drawn horribly at eight while Beautide hasn’t fared much better at 12.
I’m Victorious could be the horse to beat. The $5.50 third favourite has drawn ideally at one.
The top eight NZ TAB favourites (as at Wednesday) were:
Smolda $4, Beautide $4.40, Im Victorious $5.50, For A Reason $9, Terror To Love $10, Caribbean Blaster $10, The Gold Ace $12, Restrepo $12.
Past winners of the Inter Dominion grand final since the turn of the century have been:
2013: Im Themightyquinn; 2012: Im Themightyquinn; 2011: Im Themightyquinn; 2010: Blacks A Fake; 2009: Mr Feelgood; 2008: Blacks A Fake; 2007: Blacks A Fake; 2006: Blacks A Fake; 2005: Elsu; 2004: Jofess; 2003: Baltic Eagle; 2002: Smooth Satin; 2001: Yulestar; 2000: Skakamaker.