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The seemingly impossible occurred at Donaldson Park in Bunbury on Tuesday night when harness racing superstar Lennytheshark was beaten into fourth place in the sixth heat of the TABtouch Inter Dominion championship. It was the first time in 637 days that the reigning interdominion champion had failed to finish in the top three placings. However, trainer David Aiken declared after Lennytheshark’s fourth behind Bling It On, John of Arc and Waylade that he was not concerned at the defeat. “I’m not disappointed and he’ll bounce back at Gloucester Park on Friday night,” Aiken said. And his optimism increased considerably on Wednesday morning when Lennythshark drew the coveted No. 1 barrier in the Westral interdominion qualifying heat No. 8. Lennytheshark started from the inside of the back line in Tuesday night’s 2100m heat. He was favourite at 2/1 on. Ima Connoisseur revealed his customary brilliant early speed and was untroubled to lead from barrier four. John of Arc (9/2) quickly dashed forward to race in the breeze, with Waylade trailing the pacemaker and Bling It On (13/2) enjoying the one-out, one-back trail. Chris Alford settled Lennytheshark in eighth position in the one-wide line. Alford sent Lennytheshark forward, three wide, 650m from home and the seven-year-old fought on gamely to finish just over two lengths from the winner after the final two quarters were covered in 27.5sec. and 27.3sec. Aiken said that the race wasn’t run to suit Lennytheshark, who faced a massive task with the final 800m (off the front) whizzing by in 54.8sec. “He has pulled up well and there are no problems,” he said. Lennytheshark’s previous 21 starts had produced 14 wins, six seconds and one third. His previous unplaced effort was his sixth behind Beautide in the final of the interdominion championship at Menangle in March 2015. That sixth was Lennytheshark’s only unplaced effort in his previous 37 starts (24 wins, ten seconds and two thirds) before his comparative failure on Tuesday night. On Friday night Lennytheshark should be capable of holding up from fast beginners Bettors Fire (barrier two) and Franco Nelson (three) and setting the pace in the 2536m heat. Bettors Fire, Franco Nelson and Run Oneover appear Lennytheshark’s main rivals. Bettors Fire, who led from barrier three and won from Smolda and John of Arc in a 2130m heat at Gloucester Park last Friday night, raced in sixth position in the one-wide line when a fighting fifth behind Hectorjayjay over 2100m at Bunbury on Tuesday night. Smolda, second favourite at 7/4, finished third behind Run Oneover (6/4 favourite) and Freyberg in a 2100m heat on Tuesday night after racing in the breeze for the entire final circuit. Run Oneover, trained by Gary Hall sen., began speedily from the No. 4 barrier and he gave a powerful frontrunning performance to win by 2m from Freyberg (who trailed the leader). After a fast lead time of 34.4sec. and opening sections of 30.3sec. and 29sec. Run Oneover sprinted over the final quarters in 27.9sec. and 26.8sec. and his rate of 1.53.8 set a track record for 2100m. “I couldn’t be happier,” said reinsman Clint Hall. “Run Oneover proved on the first night (when second to Hectorjayjay after over-racing in the breeze) that he was up to them and he’s put them away tonight. It was a pretty decent field and he did it in good fashion. “He was good tonight even though we had to open him up early. He came back to me, which was pleasing. I knew that we would cop some pressure from Smolda at some stage, and it all worked out well. I had a plan and that was to keep Smolda, when he came, at my wheel. And Run Oneover was good enough to keep Smolda at my wheel for the rest of the race. “Run Oneover broke 27sec. for the final quarter to show that he has a chance in the final. We’ll need a bit of luck to beat the good ones, but it is not beyond him.” Click on this link for the full fields on Friday night at Gloucester Park Ken Casellas

Rising harness racing star Hectorjayjay possesses dazzling pace, but he is certainly not just a speed machine, according to his driver Josh Aiken. “Going up from the first two rounds of heats over 2130m and 2100m to 2536m at Gloucester Park on Friday night will not trouble him,” Aiken said. Hectorjayjay, the only unbeaten runner after the two nights of qualifying heats and a warm favourite for the $1.1 million final of the TABtouch Inter Dominion championship on Friday week, will start from barrier five in the Retravision interdominion qualifying heat No. 7 on Friday night and his clash with John of Arc promises to be a highlight of the ten-event program. “There’s no doubt that this horse can run a 26sec. flat quarter,” Aiken said. “He’s a pretty quick horse who ran his final quarter in 26.3sec. when he led and won the Swan Hill Cup over 2790m in October. “He has also run some crazy quarters from back in the field and I’m confident that he can sit off any speed and be quick enough to run past some nice horses.” Aiken said he was not concerned that Hectorjayjay (trained by his father David) would have to run in a heat over 2536m and the $1.1 million final on Friday week over 2936m. “We’ve given him two starts over longer trips (in the 2790m Swan Hill Cup and the 2650m Yarra Valley Cup) and he went really well,” Josh Aiken said. “He won very well at Swan Hill and then ran second to Restrepo at Yarra Valley when Restrepo was outstanding on the day. “I don’t think that the longer distances in his next two runs will worry him too much. He’s grown a bit of strength and has now got a bit more bottom. I’m really looking forward to his next two runs; he should be fitter after his two heat wins. I can’t wait. “Now, after his Bunbury win (when he led from barrier two and was not extended in winning from Our Jericho and Ultimate Art), it’s all about recovery and refreshing him. He’ll spend time at the beach and have a light jog the day before his race on Friday.” Favourite at 10/1 on in the fifth qualifying heat at Bunbury on Tuesday night, Hectorjayjay was not troubled to burst straight to the front from barrier two before an easy lead time of 35.4sec. and a slow opening 400m section of the final mile in 31.3sec. He strolled to victory after a slick final 800m in 53.7sec. and crossed the line more than two lengths ahead of Our Jericho, who had trailed him throughout. “It was pretty moderate early and then he copped a bit of pressure (from Ultimate Art) through the middle half and was still able to rattle off a 26.6sec. final quarter which was really pleasing,” Aiken said. “Ultimate Art is a really nice horse and is a big, good-looking horse who is actually quite intimidating. He’s got a lot of presence and so it was quite intimidating to have him up on the outside with two nice horses, Major Crocker and Bettors Fire, on his back. It was all so pleasing to go to the line on the bit and with his plugs in.” John of Arc, trained by Clive Dalton, is one of the big improvers in the series and he will have admirers from the prized No. 1 barrier in Friday night’s seventh heat. The lightly-raced injury-plagued seven-year-old produced a wonderful effort when second to the fast-finishing Bling It On in the sixth heat on Tuesday night. He raced three wide early and then in the breeze before surging past the pacemaker Ima Connoisseur and getting to the front 120m from the finish before he was swamped by Bling It On, who had enjoyed a perfect one-out, one-back trail for Luke McCarthy. This followed John of Arc’s excellent third behind Bettors Fire and Smolda in the second heat last Friday night when he sustained a spirited three-wide burst from sixth at the bell. Ken Casellas

Star harness racing reinsman Gary Hall jun. is looking forward with enthusiasm to driving Beaudiene Boaz in the ninth qualifying heat on Friday night and the $1.1 million final of the TABtouch Inter Dominion championship at Gloucester Park a week later. Beaudiene Boaz, an up-and-coming five-year-old prepared by ace trainer Gary Hall sen., followed his excellent second to Lennytheshark last Friday night with a sound fourth behind Hectorjayjay in the fifth heat in Bunbury on Tuesday night. “I was happy with the way he was travelling, and he wanted to go, in his heat in Bunbury,” Hall jun. said. “He was bolting turning for home and I should’ve come off (the inside) on the bend. But I thought I would stay on the pegs because I thought that Ultimate Art would drop off after doing a bit of work. “We didn’t get clear running until inside the final 100m, and by then it was too late.” Beaudiene Boaz is awkwardly drawn at barrier seven in Friday night’s 2536m heat, in which he will clash with Luke McCarthy’s Bling It On (a brilliant winner in a Bunbury heat), Our Jericho, Smolda, Simply Susational and Ultimate Art. However, he looks set to fight out the finish. The Ross Olivieri-trained Our Jericho is one of the surprise packets of the series and is on track to contest the $1.1 million final on Friday week after his fourth behind Lennyhtheshark and his second to Hectorjayjay on the first two nights of the series. Our Jericho is handily drawn at barrier two and Chris Lewis will have the option of taking a sit behind the polemarker Simply Susational or attempting to get to an early lead and then dictate terms in front. Our Jericho, a former New Zealand performer and a splendid frontrunner, has flourished since arriving in Western Australia where he has had 24 starts for Olivieri for nine wins and seven placings. He sat behind the pacemaker Hectorjayjay and fought on determinedly when second to that pacer on Tuesday night. Simply Susational impresses with his powerful finishing bursts and is not generally recognised as a frontrunner. However, there is certainly some prospect that Ryan Warwick will attempt to use the horse’s good gate speed and set the pace. Simply Susational led from barrier four when a three-length winner from stablemate Ima Tragedy, rating 1.52.6 over 1730m at Gloucester Park last May. He also led and won sprint events at Narrogin and Gloucester Park in November 2014. Bling It On cannot be underestimated. He has sprinted home in dashing style to win from Lennytheshark twice from his past five starts. He began fast from barrier three before obtaining the one-out, one-back sit on his way to his stylish fast-finishing victory over John of Arc on Tuesday night in a heat in which the final quarters were run in 27.5sec. and 27.3sec. Ken Casellas

Harness racing champion New Zealand trainer-reinsman Mark Purdon is full of hope that star young pacer Mr Mojito can atone for his flop in the McInerney Ford Classic last Friday night by winning the $50,000 Garrard’s Horse And Hound Four-Year-Old Championship over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. “He was a victim of circumstances last week and I hope he can make amends this week,” Purdon said. The tyre on the gelding’s nearside sulky wheel was punctured about 600m after the start and Mr Mojito simply raced at the rear and finished in eleventh place, more than 20 lengths behind the winner Chicago Bull in last week’s feature event. “It was the result of a chain reaction, with the pace easing,” Purdon explained. “I didn’t want to over-tax Mr Mojito because he had no chance with a flat tyre … and if I had tried to stay on the back of Chicago Bull he would have run home a tired horse. “Take no notice of his run; just turn the page and hopefully we’ll see the best of him on Friday,” Purdon said. Mr Mojito has taken no ill-effects from last Friday and I’m happy with his condition. He’s had a quiet couple of days and I’m keeping him a bit on the fresh side. Mr Mojito, a son of American stallion Real Desire, has won at seven of his ten starts and Purdon has a high opinion of the gelding who will start from the No. 2 barrier on the front in Friday night’s race. “It won’t be easy with several good horses in the race,” Purdon said. “And you’ve got to respect the No. 1 horse (Nathans Courage).” The Victorian-bred Nathans Courage, trained at Pinjarra by Michael Brennan, is a brilliant frontrunner who should take a power of beating. The gelding, who has won nine times from 20 starts, will be driven for the first time by Gary Hall jun., who replaces regular reinsman Michael Grantham, who is serving a nine-day suspension. Nathans Courage started from barrier two on the back line in a 2536m event last Friday night when he raced three back on the pegs and fought on to finish a close fourth behind A Piccadilly Princess. Leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond hold a strong hand with two talented New Zealand-bred pacers Mister Daytona and Vanquished. Mister Daytona, to be driven by Ryan Warwick from the No. 3 barrier, has impressed in winning at ten of his 12 starts, while Vanquished, to be driven by Ryan Bell from barrier five, has won at ten of his 21 starts. He raced three back on the pegs and finished fast to be second to Chicago Bull last Friday night. Ace trainer Gary Hall sen. will be represented by the speedy Harry Hoo, a winner at ten of his 31 starts, but at a disadvantage from out wide at barrier nine. Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri said that he expected an improved showing from stable newcomer Motu Gatecrasher, who will be driven by Chris Lewis from barrier four. Motu Gatecrasher set the pace before fading to seventh behind Chicago Bull last Friday night. “He will improve on his first-up effort,” Olivieri said. “He really needed the run and has taken no harm from it. His work since then has been a mile better.” Ken Casellas

Exciting newcomer Im Full of Excuses should continue his rapid rise by proving the bet of the night at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he contests the harness racing $23,000 Check In With TABtouch Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. A convincing victory would see the highly-rated Jeremes Jet five-year-old move a step closer to running in the $450,000 WA Pacing Cup in January. Im Full of Excuses, a winner at seven of his 21 starts in New Zealand, has been in superb form for eight-time premiership trainer Ross Olivieri, with his six WA starts producing a first-up failure when he met with interference and had a torrid run and then five effortless wins in a row. Those five wins were all in stands, but the gelding will have no difficulty in returning to mobile racing. Olivieri said that the standing-start runs were part of the gelding’s education. “And good stakemoney tempted me to run him in two $30,000 events at his latest outings --- when he won the Kalgoorlie Cup (beating Better Scoot) and the York Cup at Northam (beating This Time Dylan),” he said. “His greatest strengths are his strength and his speed --- he’s got both. I think he is up to Pacing Cup class, but we’ll let him tell us where we need to go. I nominated him for the Inters, but withdrew him when I considered he was too green and too inexperienced. I didn’t think he was ready for the grind of the Inters. And now the seasoning process has started.” Olivieri will also be represented by Red Salute, who is handily drawn at barrier three. Red Salute led when a sound second to Delightful Offer over 2100m at Bunbury on Tuesday night. He will be driven by Chris Voak, who could be involved in an early battle for the lead with Courage Tells (barrier one) and Mighty Flying Thomas (two). Stuart McDonald will handle Mighty Flying Thomas, who heads Byford trainer Peter Anderson’s three-prong attack on the race. Anderson’s other runners are Bronze Seeker, who will be driven by Luke McCarthy from barrier five, and Lisharry, who will be driven by Mark Purdon and faces a stern test from the outside barrier. Courage Tells, having his second start for leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond, caught the eye last Friday night when he broke after the start in a stand and was ninth at the bell before running on to be a close fifth behind Major Rush when he was hampered for room in the home straight. The nine-year-old has good gate speed as he revealed when he began fast from the No. 8 barrier and set the pace before finishing a neck second to stablemate Phoenix warrior over 2536m on July 29. Ken Casellas

Richly-talented New Zealand four-year-old A Piccadilly princess faces an acid test when she lines up against smart and seasoned West Australian six-year-old Ideal Alice in the $35,000 TABtouch Parliamentarians Cup for harness racing mares over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. A Piccadilly Princess made an auspicious West Australian debut last Friday night when she unwound a sparkling late burst to charge home from fourth on the home turn to score an easy win over Ideal Tyson and the pacemaker Johnny Disco. Later in the evening Ideal Alice was an unlucky fourth behind Major Reality in the $50,000 Norms Daughter Classic when she was badly blocked for a clear passage until very late in the race. Ideal Alice, trained by Gary Hall sen., finished boldly to win from Quite A Delight a week earlier. She is an M8-class mare clashing with A Piccadilly Princess, who advanced to a M1 classification after her victory last Friday night. “A Piccadilly Princess is a good little mare, who won three group 1 events as a three-year-old,” said trainer-reinsman Mark Purdon. “I’ve seen Ideal Alice and she’s the one to beat, without any doubt. I don’t think we could sit outside of her and beat her. I doubt that A Piccadilly Princess could beat out Ideal Alice. “I reckon that leading will be the game plan for Ideal Alice. It would be nice if we can get a nice trip somewhere.” The Ross Olivieri-trained Lady Willoughby will be driven by Chris Voak from the No. 5 barrier and should be prominent. She has been a consistent performer, with her 51 starts producing 16 wins and 14 placings. She resumed after a two-month absence when she finished strongly to win over 2185m at a 1.57.4 rate at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon. “She can step up, but realistically she’s a place chance with a small winning hope,” Olivieri said. Ken Casellas

Franco Nelson, Ultimate Art and Fryberg are just outside the top ten and will need to produce a strong performance in the final round of harness racing heats to force their way into the $1.1 million TABtouch Inter Dominion Grand Final at Gloucester Park on Friday 9 December. Series favourite Hectorjayjay, $2.50 with TABtouch, is the only horse to remain unbeaten after his victory at Bunbury last night (night), with Bling It On and Run Oneover also taking out heats at the country circuit. The Greg and Skye Bond trained Our Jimmy Johnstone currently fills tenth spot. Below are the current standings of the top 15 point scorers; Horse                             Points           Ranking Hectorjayjay                        28               1 Run Oneover                       25               2 Lennytheshark                    21               3 Bettors Fire                          20               4 Bling It On                            20               4 John Of Arc                          20               4 Smolda                                 20               4 Beaudiene Boaz                 18               8 Our Jericho                          18               8 Our Jimmy Johnstone        16              10 Franco Nelson                      15             11 Ultimate Art                            13             12 Freyberg                                12             13 Simply Susational                12             13 Phoenix Warrior                    11             14 Waylade                                  11             14

Brilliant Victorian harness racing pacer Lennytheshark has taken out the first heat of the 2016 TABtouch Inter Dominion at Gloucester Park, Western Australia. The reigning Inter Dom champ began his title defence in the $1.8million series in the most emphatic fashion, working hard three-wide early before landing the chair with two laps of the half-mile GP circuit to run, outside pacesetter Our Jimmy Johnston, a local who had been well-tried by punters into $3.9. Sent out $1.8 favourite with punters, Lennytheshark controlled the race from the breeze, driver Chris Alford explaining post-race the David Aiken-trained superstar thrives doing the work. “He loves racing in the breeze for some reason,” Alford said. “He did the work and one day they’ll know he’s good and they’ll want to sit on him, but they want to park him at the moment.” Off the back Lennytheshark made his move. Our Jimmy Johnston tried to shake him off, but it’s tough to escape the clutches of a hungry shark’s jaws. Beaudiene Boaz found the line nicely for the Gary Hall Snr and Jr combination, but Lennytheshark had 1.4m on him at the wire, Lenny’s mile rate 1:54.8 and gross time 2:32.0. Last year Lenny won his opening heat in 2:33.1 gross and a 1:55.6 rate. Our Jimmy Johnstone held third, but as reinsman Ryan Warwick remarked pre-race, if his charge couldn’t tame the Shark tonight it’d be tough doing it in the future. Our Jericho was impressive in fourth, while Victorian Guaranteed finished fifth. Interestingly the vet ran his eye over Guaranteed before declaring him fit to run pre-race. Guaranteed sat leader’s back in the run but found little at the finish to battle fairly into fifth. “He seems to have pulled up good,” Lang later told Sky. But it was all honours with the winner, who has to firm in Grand Final markets given what he did tonight. “He should get better as the series goes on… like last year,” Alford said. “He travelled really well (tonight). Once he put the leader to bed he knocked off a little bit, but he knows where the line is.” Lennytheshark - Retravision Inter Dominion Qualifying Heat 1 Bettors Fire NZ - Tabtouch Inter Dominion Qualifying Heat 2 Hectorjayjay ferocious in his heat Punters are torn after night one of the TABtouch Inter Dominion heats at Gloucester Park in Perth. Do you go with the reigning series champion, Lennytheshark, who couldn’t have been more impressive winning his heat last night, or the new kid on the block, stablemate Hectorjayjay, who also looks to have gone to another level? David Aiken is in the box seat, that’s for sure. The Avenel horseman trains both Lenny and Hector. Winning two Inter Dominion heats on one night is a special feat. Josh Aiken drove Hectorjayjay to victory in a mile rate of 1:53.6 – the quickest of the night – in the 2130-metre race. “He had to work to get there, he copped mid-race pressure and then he still ripped home in a 27 quarter,” winning reinsman Josh Aiken said post-race. “I was confident. He travelled well whole race. We had to work in the middle … that brings horses like bling it on Restrepo into the race, so I was rapt he still had kick in at end.” Kick away he did. At the home bend Hectorjayjay booted clear of runner-up Run Oneover and third placegetter Franco Nelson, both trying hard but not making any inroads. “Each run is going to tighten him up,” Aiken said. “He’ll keep getting better throughout the series.” Hectorjayjay had to burn some petrol early as Exciteusinthecity held up from the pole for a few strides, and once in front, Hector copped heat throughout with a 56.8 middle half. None of it mattered as Hectorjayjay, a six-year-old by Dream Away out of Sheer Finesse, ripped home in 27.4. Simply Susational finished fourth with Bling It On fifth. Other Victorians in heat three were Restrepo in seventh, Flaming Flutter in eighth and Exciteusinthecity in ninth. The next round of heats will be held at Bunbury on Tuesday night. Get your details by visiting the Inter Dominion website Hectorjayjay - Choices Flooring Inter Dominion Qualifying Heat 3 Lenny and Hector take a swim in the Indian Ocean 2016 Perth Inter Dominion Progressive Points Table Nov 24, 2016 | Gloucester Park / RWWA   Heat Night 1 Heat Night 2 Heat Night 3 Series Horse Heat Placing Points Heat Placing Points Heat Placing Points Total Points Rank BETTORS FIRE NZ (WA) HEAT 2 1 14     0     0 14 1 HECTORJAYJAY (VIC) HEAT 3 1 14     0     0 14 2 LENNYTHESHARK (VIC) HEAT 1 1 14     0     0 14 3 BEAUDIENE BOAZ NZ (WA) HEAT 1 2 11     0     0 11 4 RUN ONEOVER NZ (WA) HEAT 3 2 11     0     0 11 5 SMOLDA (NZ) HEAT 2 2 11     0     0 11 6 FRANCO NELSON NZ (NZ) HEAT 3 3 9     0     0 9 7 JOHN OF ARC NZ (WA) HEAT 2 3 9     0     0 9 8 OUR JIMMY JOHNSTONE NZ (WA) HEAT 1 3 9     0     0 9 9 OUR JERICHO NZ (WA) HEAT 1 4 7     0     0 7 10 PHOENIX WARRIOR NZ (WA) HEAT 2 4 7     0     0 7 11 SIMPLY SUSATIONAL NZ (WA) HEAT 3 4 7     0     0 7 12 BLING IT ON (NSW) HEAT 3 5 6     0     0 6 13 GUARANTEED (VIC) HEAT 1 5 6     0     0 6 14 IMA CONNOISSEUR NZ (WA) HEAT 2 5 6     0     0 6 15 CYAMACH NZ (WA) HEAT 3 6 5     0     0 5 16 MAJOR CROCKER (VIC) HEAT 2 6 5     0     0 5 17 THE BUCKET LIST NZ (WA) HEAT 1 6 5     0     0 5 18 OUR BLACKBIRD NZ (WA) HEAT 2 7 4     0     0 4 19 RESTREPO (VIC) HEAT 3 7 4     0     0 4 20 ULTIMATE ART (NSW) HEAT 1 7 4     0     0 4 21 ELEGANT CHRISTIAN NZ (WA) HEAT 1 8 3     0     0 3 22 FLAMING FLUTTER NZ (WA) HEAT 3 8 3     0     0 3 23 YANKEE ROCKSTAR (VIC) HEAT 2 8 3     0     0 3 24 EXCITEUSINTHECITY (VIC) HEAT 3 9 2     0     0 2 25 TRICKY STYX NZ (WA) HEAT 1 9 2     0     0 2 26 WAYLADE NZ (WA) HEAT 2 9 2     0     0 2 27 FREYBERG NZ (NSW) HEAT 3 10 1     0     0 1 28 HEEZ ON FIRE (WA) HEAT 2 10 1     0     0 1 29 STUNNING GRIN (VIC) HEAT 1 10 1     0     0 1 30   * Please Note: The calculations in this table are not final until the race results have been confirmed and accepted by RWWA. ** In the event two or more horses each scoring equally the minimum number of points entitling them to be eligible for the Final and thereby producing a field exceeding the number designated by RWWA, then RWWA shall decide in its discretion which of the horses with equal points shall start in the Final. by Cody Winnell

The Perth Inter Dominion gets underway at Gloucester Park tonight (Friday). Our own ADAM HAMILTON casts his eye over the main races: RACE 4 – INTER DOMINION HEAT ONE Think LENNYTHESHARK (8) is vulnerable here from the wide draw. Yes, he’s the one to beat, but cannot take short odds. Like OUR JIMMY JOHNSTONE (2) each-way and hoping he gets across GUARANTEED (1) at the start. LENNYTHESHARK second pick, but will have to do plenty of work. BEAUDIENE BOAZ (5) will be charging late if he gets the right run. GUARANTEED (1) is fitter for three runs back, but it will depend on how much gate speed he can show from the pole. Could be buried back on the inside. SUGGESTED BET: Our Jimmy Johnstone (2) each-way RACE 5 – NORMS DAUGHTER CLASSIC Really tricky race. Going with MAJOR REALITY (1) with one run under her belt and drawn the pole. Hard to beat if, as expected, she holds the front. DODOLICIOUS (2) has picked-up where she left off last season and is a huge chance from kind draw. IDEAL ALICE (11) is drawn to get a good drag through. Plenty of other chances. SUGGESTED BET: Major Reality (1) each-way RACE 6 – INTER DOMINION HEAT TWO The hardest of the three heats to assess. BETTORS FIRE (3) is the likely leader and very hard to beat he if runs up to his best. Can’t back him at skinny odds though. SMOLDA (9) might just be too good for them despite the wide draw, but he’ll have to work hard. YANKEE ROCKSTAR (6) is ready and looks some value. Next best is JOHN OF ARC (5). SUGGESTED BET: Something each-way Yankee Rockstar (6) RACE 7 – MCINERNEY 4YO CLASSIC MR MOJITO (10) is the best horse, but needs luck from inside back row draw. Still the one to beat over the long 2536m trip. CHICAGO BULL (6) has been brave in defeat at past two and will be right there again. SOHO TRIBECA (5) has looked good winning both starts for new trainer Kim Prentice. Drawn well. Hard to run down if finds the lead. SUGGESTED BET: Chicago Bull (6) each-way if he gets to $5 or $6 RACE 8 – INTER DOMINION HEAT THREE Not even a wide draw should stop HECTORJAYJAY (8) winning again. I’m tipping he’ll blast across them early and show why he’s favourite for the final. FRANCO NELSON (5) gets his chance from nice draw, but he will need to show good early speed. BLING IT ON (2) returned to form courtesy of a superb Luke McCarthy drive last time and is drawn to suit. RESTREPO (4) has looked good in his two comeback runs. EXCITEUSINTHECITY (1) is a place hope from the pole. SUGGESTED BET: Hectorjayjay (8) to lead and win SUMMARY BEST BET: R8 n8 Hectorjayjay BEST VALUE: R4 n2 Our Jimmy Johnstone THE ROUGHIE: R6 n6 Yankee Rockstar

Reigning TABtouch Inter dominion champion Lennytheshark is spot on to make a successful defence of his harness racing title, according to the stallion’s trainer David Aiken. The seven-year-old has drawn out wide at barrier eight on the front line of nine in the field of ten to contest the first heat of the Retravision Interdominion Championship over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. “He’s ready to go,” said Aiken, who admitted that the wide barrier would make Lennytheshark’s task tougher. “All’s good; he’s settled in well and his work has been good. The barrier draw is not ideal. “There’s no set plans for him. There’s plenty of speed on his inside and I’ll leave the tactics up to Chris (Alford); he’ll put him in the race at some stage.   “I’m happy with his preparation. We took him to Sydney and he had two really good runs there (working hard three wide and then in the breeze before winning in 1.49.9 from Allblack Stride and Freyberg over 1609m at Menangle on October 15 before leading from barrier seven and winning easily at a 1.55.8 rate from Ultimate Art the following week). “Then he got beaten last week (when second to the fast-finishing Bling It On over 1720m at Melton). But his run was full of merit. “He’s on par with what he was 12 months ago; he’s just as good and I’ve got no issues with him. There is a fair bit of depth in the three heats and I think it (the opposition) will be stronger this year.” Lennytheshark, whose 54 starts have produced 29 wins, 16 seconds and five thirds for stakes of $1,934,890, will clash with another Victorian-trained seven-year-old Guaranteed and local stars Beaudiene Boaz and Our Jimmy Johnstone. Guaranteed, trained by Emma Stewart, has not won a race for 22 months, but he looms as a major player at his fourth outing after a 20-month absence (while recuperating from a torn suspensory ligament). He possesses good gate speed and though he has led from barrier No. 1 and won over 2240m at Melton in May and December 2012, he is not a noted frontrunner. He is a tough competitor who is capable of producing a strong finishing burst and can also perform strongly after racing in the breeze. He started from the back line and raced three wide before working hard without cover and going on to win the South Australian Cup from Flaming Flutter in January 2015 when he set a track record with a rate of 1.54.4 over 2230m. His three runs in the past six weeks have been solid. Our Jimmy Johnstone, trained by WA’s leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond, is in superb form and is sure to prove hard to beat. Ryan Warwick is expected to make a bold bid for the early lead. Our Jimmy Johnstone mustered splendid early pace from barrier six and gave a bold frontrunning display to win the $50,000 Bunbury Cup at his latest outing, on November 12. He dashed over the final two quarters in 27.8sec. and 27.9sec. and rated 1.55.4 in beating Mynameskenny over 2569m. Five-year-old Beaudiene Boaz has drawn awkwardly at barrier No. 5 and ace trainer Gary Hall sen. said he was hopeful that his son Gary would be able to drop the horse into a favourable position in the early stages. “Then the tactics will be governed by how the race is run. I think that there is a good chance that Guaranteed will hold out Our Jimmy Johnstone in the battle for the early lead,” he said. Beaudiene Boaz cannot be underestimated. He overraced badly when he set a cracking pace before wilting late to finish second to stablemate Waylade over 2130m last Friday week. His 27.2sec. second quarter of the final mile, followed by a 27.6sec. quarter left him at the mercy of a swooper. Ken Casellas  

Exciting pacer Hectorjayjay fared poorly by drawing out wide at barrier No. 8 in the third heat of the Choices Flooring Inter dominion championship at Gloucester Park on Friday night, but young harness racing reinsman Josh Aiken is likely to steal a march on his rivals by using the six-year-old’s dazzling gate speed and charging to an early lead. Trainer David Aiken, father of Josh, gave a strong clue to the possibility of the Dream Away gelding surging straight to the front when he said: “He can burn out pretty quickly when he wants to and he may be able to cross them.” Hectorjayjay is the form runner of the 30 pacers who will contest the heats of the championship, with his past 15 starts producing 11 wins, three seconds and a fifth placing. He was most impressive at his most recent outing when he was not extended in winning the Markovina Free-For-All at Bendigo last Friday week. He started out wide at barrier six and revealed sizzling pace to charge to the front after 50m. He was untroubled to win from Stunning Grin and Yankee Rockstar, reeling off the final quarters in 27.2sec. and 26.9sec. At his previous outing Hectorjayjay was the lone runner off the back line and he raced in sixth position in the one-wide line before running home determinedly, three wide, over the final 800m to finish second to the pacemaker Restrepo in the group 3 Yarra Valley Cup over 2650m. “He ran a sub-53sec. last half and his was a really good performance,” David Aiken said. “If he just gets one little easy section in front he can run a very fast time.” Restrepo, who charged straight to the front from barrier three in that event. A slow early pace and slow opening quarters of the final mile in 32.3sec. and 31.1sec. made life extremely difficult for Hectorjayjay. Restrepo (barrier four) ande can burn out pretty quickly if he wants to. He and Franco Nelson (five) are speedy beginners and there is a strong possibility that Gavin Lang (Restrepo) and Dexter Dunn (Franco Nelson) will fire their horses out of the gate. The John McCarthy-trained Bling It On is favourably drawn at barrier two and the six-year-old will have many admirers, particularly after Luke McCarthy produced a superb drive to bring Bling It On with a sparkling late burst of speed to beat Lennytheshark in the 1720m Smoken Up Sprint at Melton last Saturday week.    Freyberg, trained by Kevin Pizzuto, gave a solid performance when second to Smokey The Bandit over 2300m at Gloucester Park last Friday night. But this week he meets sterner opposition and must overcome a wide draw at No. 7. Simply Susational, to be driven by Ryan Warwick for leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond, is capable of causing an upset. He is the sole backmarker and he could well be able to replicate his powerful finishing burst which gave him victory over Run Oneover and Waylade on November 4. Ken Casellas  

A star-studded harness racing field of 12 will contest the group 1 $125,000 McInerney Ford Classic over 2536m at Gloucester Park on Friday night and trainer-reinsman Kim Prentice sounded an ominous warning to his rivals when he predicted big things from Soho Tribeca. Soho Tribeca, a brilliant winner over 2130m in weaker company last Friday night, is awkwardly drawn at barrier five. But Prentice is going into battle full of confidence. Soho Tribeca, a former Victorian performer, is unbeaten at his first two runs for Prentice, leading all the way and winning from Franco Rayner and Chicago Bull over 2185m at a 1.56 rate at Pinjarra on November 7 and then giving a powerful display to win from Cut For An Ace and Ohoka Kentucky at a 1.55.3 rate last Friday night. Prentice restrained Soho Tribeca from the No. 4 barrier before sending the American Ideal stallion forward, three wide and following Ohoka Kentucky after a lap had been completed. Soho Tribeca eventually forged to the front at the bell and won by one and a half lengths. ”After a 28.4sec. second quarter and racing three wide in the middle stages, he’s going to run any time in the good races,” Prentice said. “He will improve on the run; I’ve been a bit easy on him since his Pinjarra win. I think he had something up his sleeve at the finish. Rob (owner Rob Watson) said that the horse always switched off in his races, but he didn’t switch off in this race. Hopefully, we’ve got him at a different fitness level. He could have kept going and it took me 400m to pull him up. “I rang Chris Alford and he said that he’s really good with a sit. If they’re running time and he’s sitting back, he can peel off a really quick quarter. I’ve honestly only had two better pacers –— and one (Baltic Eagle) won an interdominion championship and the other (Big Town Walton) finished fourth.” Adding considerable interest to the race will be the first appearance in Western Australia of the highly-rated New Zealand gelding Mr Mojito and the former Victorian performer Motu Gatecrasher. Mr Mojito, to be driven by his trainer Mark Purdon, will start from the inside of the back line and Motu Gatecrasher, a newcomer to Ross Olivieri’s stable, has drawn the coveted No. 1 barrier on the front line and will be driven by star reinsman Chris Lewis. Mr Mojito has had only nine starts for seven wins and a second placing after a first-up failure. He rated 1.55.2 when he won easily from Captain Dolmio over 2600m at Addington on November 8. “It’s an awkward draw, but he’s a lovely horse who has climbed the ladder pretty quickly and at his latest start he was very good and the time they went was extra good,” Purdon said. Motu Gatecrasher has won at 11 of his 20 starts and is a noted frontrunner. He was a 10/1 on favourite at his latest start when he worked hard in the breeze all the way and finished second to Bad Boy Brad over 2150m at Bendigo on October 25. His past ten starts have produced eight wins and two seconds. Chicago Bull, last season’s WA Derby winner and a winner at 15 of his 25 starts, will lead the challenge of ace trainer Gary Hall sen., whose other runners Harry Hoo and King Lebron are in good form. Chicago Bull will start from the No. 6 barrier and should fight out the finish. He had a tough run without cover at his latest appearance when third behind Soho Tribeca at Pinjarra. Boyanup trainer Justin Prentice holds a strong hand in the $50,000 Clipsal By Schneider Electric Norms Daughter Classic over 2130m with Major Reality, Quite A Delight and The Parade. Prentice will drive Major Reality, winner of the WA Oaks in May 2015, who is favourably drawn at the No. 1 barrier. Prentice has engaged Gavin Lang to handle Quite A Delight (barrier eight) and Chris Alford for The Parade (inside of the back line). The all-conquering Dodolicious for the Bond stable, will be driven by Ryan Warwick and is favourably drawn at barrier two on the front line. She will be hard to beat. Ken Casellas

It will be the case of a very long time between drinks for champion New Zealand harness racing trainer-reinsman Mark Purdon when he drives outstanding young mare A Piccadilly Princess in the $23,000 McInerney Ford Classic Consolation at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This will be the first time he has driven at Gloucester Park for 7567 days. He last appeared at West Australia’s pacing headquarters  when he was in the sulky behind 20/1 chance Ima Villain in the Interdominion Drivers’ Invitational event, a stand over 2900m on March 8, 1996. Ima Villain finished seventh in a field of 14, with Victorian Chris Alford driving the winner Judicial, who defeated Helluva Time, handled by WA’s Chris Lewis. The only previous time the 52-year-old Purdon had travelled from New Zealand to WA was in 1986 when he had about four unsuccessful drives at Gloucester Park and Northam in a junior drivers’ series. This is the first time he has been in WA since 1996. He has driven more than a hundred group 1 winners and has been a dominant force in New Zealand for several years and has also been successful in many races in Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland. He has high hopes that A Piccadilly Princess will give him his first driving success in WA. His only previous starter as a trainer in WA was with Lets Chase The Dream, who was driven by Lewis when he won a prelude of the WA Derby last April and then finished second to Chicago Bull in the final of the classic. Lewis stands in the path of Purdon winning the McInerney consolation on Friday night. He will drive the speedy frontrunner Johnny Disco, who has drawn the prized No. 1 barrier. Johnny Disco, a winner at nine of his 22 starts, should be close to his peak at his third outing after a spell for Pinjarra trainer Ross Ashby. In a strong field, several runners have sound prospects. They include champion trainer Gary Hall senior’s Zach Maguire, Overboard Again and Mach Time, Gary Elson’s Ideal Tyson and Sprinter, Michael Brennan’s Nathans Courage and Mista Shark and Annie Belton’s Mister Versace. Purdon drove his first winner, Dark And Dusty, at Ruakaka on February 1, 1982 and he was inducted into the Interdominion Hall of Fame five years ago. He has been associated with many champions, including Mark Hanover, Young Rufus, Il Vicolo, Auckland Reactor, Adore Me, Follow The Stars , Our Waikiki Beach, Smolda, Have Faith In Me, Dream About Me and Lazarus, the runaway winner of the New Zealand Cup at Addington early this month. A Piccadilly Princess faces a moment of truth on Friday night as the only mare in the field of 11. She has won at nine of her 19 starts and has earned $337,353.      “She goes pretty good,” Purdon said. “She’s not top-class yet and wouldn’t beat open-class horses. But she did race in the junior Free-For-All on Cup day (November 8). She has won the Jewels (the Diamond for fillies in June), the North Island Oaks and the Victoria Oaks. “We’ve got another filly Dream About Me (a four-year-old with a record of 19 starts for 16 wins, two placings and $796,614) and she’s not in her class. But she’s pretty smart and has a good all-round game.” Purdon had hoped that A Piccadilly Princess would get a start in the $50,000 Clipsal By Schneider Electric Norms Daughter Classic on Friday night. But despite her outstanding record she is still classified as an M0 performer and the conditions of the race declare that preference in field selection is given to fillies and mares assessed M1 and better. A victory on Friday night would improve A Piccadilly Princess’s classification to M1 which would make her a certain starter in the $125,000 Mares Classic at Gloucester Park on December 9. “It’s my fault that she didn’t get a start in the Norms Daughter Classic,” Purdon said. “I didn’t look at the official program close enough. Winning would be a big help on Friday night.” Ken Casellas

A favourable barrier draw at No. 3 has thrust eight-year-old Bettors Fire into the limelight and gives the Kyle Harper-trained harness racing gelding a strong winning chance in the second qualifying heat of the $75,000 TABtouch Inter dominion Championship at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Bettors Fire possesses sparkling gate speed and Harper appears certain to get the handsome New Zealand-bred gelding past his inside runners Phoenix Warrior and Our Blackbird and straight to the front. Bettors Fire has rarely been beaten after leading and he should prove hard to beat, particularly if he is able to run through the lead time and the opening section of the final mile at a moderate pace. Ohoka Punter, drawn as the sole runner off the back line, is suffering from a lung infection and has been scratched from the series. Coming in to replace Ohoka Punter is the speedy Ima Connoisseur. Smolda (outside of the front line) has drawn poorly, but is a class performer who appears one of the chief dangers to Bettors Fire. Trainer Gary Hall sen. said that Ohoka Punter had made a sound recovery from an attack of colic which laid the seven-year-old low early last week, but was now affected by a lung infection. Champion New Zealand trainer-reinsman Mark Purdon said that eight-year-old Smolda was in top shape and ready for a strong performance. “He’s great, the old fellow,” Purdon said. “He has settled in well at Gary Elson’s property. Not much worries him and he doesn’t take anything extra out of himself. He is just a lovely horse and his work has been good. “He gives you nothing to get excited about, but he looks good, his blood is good and I’m sure he’s ready to go well.” Smolda warmed up for the series with a sound fourth behind brilliant stablemate Lazarus in the 3200m New Zealand Cup at Addington on November 8. He worked hard before getting to the front after 600m and then relinquished the lead 600m later. At his previous start he settled in sixth position before working hard without cover and fighting on to finish second to the pacemaker Franco Nelson in the 2400m Kaikoura Cup. A fortnight earlier he started from 30m and settled in ninth place before moving to the breeze at the bell and talking the lead with 1000m to travel and winning easily from Seel The Deal in the Methven Cup, a 3000m group 3 event on a grass track. John of Arc, trained at Herron by Clive Dalton, will have supporters despite his awkward draw at barrier five. The lightly-raced, injury-plagued seven-year-old is likely to race in the breeze and should fight out the finish. He has done a good share of work before winning stylishly at his past two starts over 2130m at Gloucester Park. Ken Casellas  

One of New Zealand’s best mares has been given a shock snub by West Australian pacing officials, leaving her main summer target dangling by a thread. Three-time group one winner Piccadilly Princess missed the cut for the A$50,000 mares race at Gloucester Park in Perth tomorrow night, even though she probably would have been favourite for it. And while trainer Mark Purdon was stunned by the decision, he says he has nobody but himself to blame. “When I first looked at the race it said a mares free-for-all and I thought she would be bound to get start with her record,” said Purdon. “But I should have looked at the small print, which said preference would be given to M1 mares. “So the handicapper was in the right, even though he had the discretion to put her in.” While Piccadilly Princess’s latest New Zealand start was in near open class company against the likes of Dream About Me, Locharburn and Field Marshal, in Australia her three group one wins last season don’t carry metropolitan penalties so she is assessed as an M0, metropolitan maiden. Every starter in tomorrow night’s A$50,000 Norm’s Daughter is M1 or faster. The problem is Piccadilly Princess now needs a metropolitan win to force her way into her main Perth target, the A$125,000 mares classic on December 9. “While I would have liked to have got a start in the mares race this week she does get a run in a A$23,000 race so I am hoping she can win that and qualify her for the December 9 race.”Piccadilly Princess is part of a rare three-strong Purdon team in Perth, with Smolda in the Inter Dominions which start tomorrow night while exciting four-year-old Mr Mojito tackles a A$125,000 four-year-old race. Smolda has been discarded by Australian bookies after drawing the outside of the front line in his Inter Dominion heat, even though he doesn’t clash with series favourites Lennytheshark or Hectorjayjay. “The draw makes it very tough on this track but he will have to be put in the race,” says Purdon. “I am happy with him now. Initially he lightened up on the trip but is back to his proper weight. “But the way they drive over here he could be wide for a big part of the race so it won’t be easy to win.” Mr Mojito has drawn one on the second line in his 2536m mobile group one, which won’t be run till 2.05am (NZ time). “He is working well and I think he is our best chance this week. “He is very strong and can work in his races, which he will need to do.”The night, or should that be morning as all the major races are after midnight NZ time, has had plenty of extra spice added to it by almost all the favourites in the three Inter Dominion heats drawing poorly. Meanwhile, Purdon says his New Zealand Cup hero Lazarus is likely to have his next start in Sydney as part of a four-race Australian campaign. “He is likely to go to Menangle on January 21 and then to the Victoria Cup at Melton a week later,” says Purdon. But then in a surprise move, Lazarus could miss the A$500,000 Hunter Cup and return to Sydney for the Chariots Of Fire in February 11, therefore enabling him to qualify for the A$750,000 Miracle Mile on February 25. And stablemate Have Faith In Me is going to be set for a defence of his Auckland Cup title after extensive vet tests failed to find anything wrong with him, even though he never looked comfortable before galloping in the New Zealand Cup. “The vets can’t find anything so we will keep pressing on toward the Auckland Cup and he will have a lead-up race up there. “We will also nominate Dream About Me and Titan Banner for the Auckland Cup, with Dream About Me to have her lead-ups in the mares races.” Michael Guerin

The moment long in his team’s focus has arrived and Vince Vallelonga can’t wait until the gates open Friday night and the harness racing stars of his Bolinda stable are unleashed. Stunning Grin and Major Crocker will be among the 30 hopefuls whose TABtouch Inter Dominion campaigns begin in earnest at Gloucester Park. “We have been here over a week and a bit and are itching to go,” Vallelonga said. He said both had settled in well in the west, with Vallelonga taking lodge at Alan Bell’s property at Hopeland, which sits about halfway between Gloucester Park and Pinjarra. “(Stunning Grin and Major Crocker) are pretty good mates, which makes it even better for them,” Vallelonga said. “Stunning Grin has settled really good. He is eating, drinking and really happy. Major Crocker worked good this morning. He’s a seasoned traveller and settles in well wherever he goes.” So far the cards have fallen well for Stunning Grin. He has drawn gate four of the field of 10 in the first heat, with a front line of nine and one runner on the back row. On his inside are Emma Stewart’s pole marker Guaranteed and local hopes Our Jimmy Johnstone and Tricky Styx. “It’s an ideal draw for him,” Vallelonga said. “I’m not too sure how fast some of the horses drawn inside him are, but he can come off the arm pretty quick and hopefully he will find the fence.” The luck of the draw may well play a role in Stunning Grin’s ability to advance to the December 9 final, with the Grinfromeartoear six-year-old needing to be at the pointy end to press the best. “If he draws bad barriers in the other heats it will be hard for him to earn points, but if he is in front or behind the leader he just keeps trying and giving,” Vallelonga said. “It is a bit of a step up for him. He is probably one step behind the really good ones, but if he gets the opportunity he can be cheeky.” By contrast, Major Crocker has form at this levels that infers he can make his own luck, including winning the TABtouch Inter Dominion Consolation at Gloucester Park last year and been one of the few to have pipped Lennytheshark in his dominant 2015-16 season. “I know this year’s series is probably a little bit tougher, but last year he didn’t have a draw and when he did he won the consolation final,” Vallelonga said of Major Crocker. He is drawn gate seven for Friday night’s second heat, outside local hope Bettors Fire and fellow Victorian Yankee Rockstar. “There is a bit of form inside him and Yankee Rockstar is pretty quick off the arm,” Vallelonga said. “My bloke is pretty quick, but I don’t want to use all of him up in heat one. We will just look to put him on the outside and find a spot and go from there.” Following Friday’s launch, the Inter Dominion heats continue on Tuesday night and Friday, December 2, ahead of the final in Friday, December 9. Michael Howard (HRV Media/Communications Co-Ordinator)

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