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Memories of two modern day harness racing greats came flooding back thanks to Stinganempire’s victory at Redcliffe yesterday. The Travis Mackay-trained gelding broke a 30-month drought from the winners’ circle when triumphant over 1780 metres. After a promising start to his career – winning nine of his first 14 starts – Stinganempire has been limited to just 18 outings since September 2012. Racing three-wide during the latter stages, the gelding rated 1:59.2 to account for Opals Delight and Pandoras Diamond. Stinganempire is by 2000 Inter Dominion winner Shakamaker, which retired as Australia’s richest pacer. Trained by John Justice, Shakamaker was triumphant at 46 of his 81 starts, with his victories including the Victoria, South Australia and Ballarat Cups, two Australian Pacing Gold Finals, two Vicbred Finals and the Western Australia Derby. Stinganempire’s dam, Channon is an unraced daughter of former outstanding speedster Chandon. With his career cut short by injury, Chandon won 19 of his 25 starts, with four placings also top his credit. Chandon had 19 starts at two and three, which yielded 14 wins and three placings. One of his unplaced efforts was against open age free-for-all company, while the other was in the Australian Derby when it was discovered the son of Classic Garry had damaged his tendon. After spending a year on the sidelines, Chandon returned to win five of his six starts before injury ended his career on the dawn of the Miracle Mile, for which the five-year-old was the early favourite. Chandon’s last three starts saw him capture the Ben Hur, Australian Pacing Championship and Queensland Championship to head the Grand Circuit. His other victories include the Westral Classic, Golden Slipper, Western Australia Derby and Oceania El Dorado. PAUL COURTS

It appears the latest star in one of harness racing’s most successful families was unearthed at Ballarat yesterday. Trained by power couple Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin, Celebrity Guest made an impressive debut, suggesting she is heading towards the top like so many of her relatives. Driven by master reinsman Gavin Lang, the two-year-old led throughout in 1:58.2 for the 1710-metre trip when accounting for Missing Mary and Diamond Jasper. By Mach Three, the filly is the fourth winner from Celebrity Ball, which scored at four of her 15 starts. Celebrity Ball is from broodmare sensation Larrakeyah Lady, the dam of nine winners from 10 starters. Larrakeyah Lady’s foals include Safe And Sound, Massarua, Gold Rocket and The Good Times, with the latter a stablemate of Celebrity Guest. Lifeline – a daughter of Larrakeyah Lady – boasts six winners from nine starters, including Lovelist, which has won six of her 12 starts, and Punchline, which was also triumphant for Stewart and Tonkin at Ballarat. Lifeline’s daughter, Secret Life, has five winners from six starters, including Group One winners Beauty Secret and Major Secret. The clan also includes Doubter, Jazzam, Next Bonus, By My Side, Star Bonus, Lucky Punch, Quizzical, Dieing Secret, Exciteusinthecity, Firebomb, Ben Cartwright, Cyclone George and Paintball. As for Celebrity Guest she has been aimed towards key features such as the Vicbred Super Series and Australasian Breeders’ Crown. “She is a pretty nice filly, which will get better as she goes along,” Stewart said. “She is eligible for some of the better races, so that’s the way we will head and see how she goes.” PAUL COURTS

Just days after New Zealand wonder mare Adore Me became the fastest harness racing performer in the Southern Hemisphere with her 1:47.7 triumph, Hazels Girl has broken an Australian record. Making her racing debut for prominent trainer Robert Xerri, Hazels Girl lowered the national two-year-old fillies’ mark at Tabcorp Park Menangle yesterday. Leading throughout from barrier three, Hazels Girl covered the mile in 1:54.5, with quarters of 28.6, 29.9, 28.2 and 27.8 seconds. The debutante’s time sliced a tenth of a second off the previous mark shared by Read About Lexy and Alabama Shakes. Read About Lexy stopped the clock in 1:54.6 at Menangle on July 12 2014, with Alabama Shakes matching the record at the same venue last month. Lettucerockthem is the quickest freshman thanks to his 1:52.1 at Menangle on April 28, 2013. Excited by the youngster’s prospect, Xerri described Hazels Girl as a “serious filly”. “There is a lot to like about this one,” Xerri declared. “She has so much speed and a bit of stamina to go with it. “I knew she was ready to run a big race, but you don’t go out there expecting to break records. “At this stage of her preparation she is actually better with a sit as she can be a bit touchy in the mouth, but she did well. “She’s a serious fill and once she learns how to race I’m tipping she will be a lot better.” By Art Major, Hazels Girl is from former Group One winning filly, Miss Hazel, which won 15 of her 29 starts, with eight placings also to her credit. Miss Hazel’s best time of 1:57 was registered at Moonee Valley in May 2008. Miss Hazel is from broodmare gem My Ami Lee, the dam of three Group One winners including Renaissance Man and Louvre. As for Miss Hazel, Xerri has aimed her at the Bathurst Tiara, followed by the Australian Pacing Gold, New South Wales Breeders’ Challenge and Australasian Breeders’ Crown. “Bathurst is next then we will look at the other major races,” Xerri said. “You can’t go in everything so she won’t do much between the various heats and Finals. “Even then that’s another 10 or so races before the end of the season. “I’ve got a big opinion of her, so I want to look after her, not cook her.” PAUL COURTS

Reigning Great Southern Star champion Keystone Del is well-positioned to defend his harness racing title at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday night. Back to his best following some minor setbacks, the Nicole Molander-trained trotter has drawn to lead throughout the opening heat. In what should prove little more than a training exercise for the son of Dr Ronerail, the gelding will begin from barrier three. Along with having an extra half-hour rest before the Final than those in the second heat, on paper Keystone Del’s qualifier also appears to be the weaker of the two. The extra rest and likely softer run make Keystone Del the one to beat in the series yet again. New Zealand raider Stent, which beat Keystone Del in the Grand Prix a fortnight ago, faces a tougher task in the second heat. The Colin De Filippi-trained squaregaiter will come out of barrier six, with handy types such as My High Expectations, Spidergirl and Neville Vaughan among those drawn on his inside. Unbeaten from three Aussie starts this campaign, Stent will need to be at his top against a solid assembly. Stent and Keystone Del dominated last season’s heats before the latter claimed the Group One decider in which the Kiwi visitor was runner-up. Although still in its infancy, the Great Southern Star has quickly developed into the nation’s premier trot, with the $300,000 Final scheduled for 10pm PAUL COURTS

She has long been the Queen of New Zealand harness racing, but given her performance at Tabcorp Park Menangle just moments ago, Adore Me may well be the best pacing mare in the world. Not only did the Mark Purdon - trained wonder embarrass a strong field in the prestigious Ladyship Mile, she did so in Australasian record time – after racing in the ‘death seat’. Driven by Natalie Rasmussen, Adore Me covered the 1609-metre sprint in a breathtaking 1:47.7. Becoming the first member of the ‘fairer sex’ to better the magical 1:50 mark, the daughter of Bettors Delight slashed eight-tenths of a second off Smoken Up’s Southern Hemisphere stance. Smoken Up became the first pacer on this side of the equator to break 1:50 when he stopped the clock at 1:48.5 at Menangle in April 2011. Before Adore Me’s record run, Baby Bling held the mares’ crown with her 1:50.5 performance in April 2013 when triumphant in the Miracle Mile…also at Menangle. Shebestingin – also a daughter of Bettors Delight – is the world's fastest pacing female thanks to her 1:47 effort at Lexington in 2013. Put On A Show, by Rocknroll Hanover, is the quickest mare after covering the mile in 1:47.6. As for Adore Me’s moment of glory, she covered the last half in a scintillating 53.7 seconds to score by 18-and-a-half metres from Beauty Secret, with Laterron four metres away third. Adore Me will return to the Shaky Isles this week, with Purdon is expected to decide on an Auckland Cup start within the next couple of days. The Auckland Cup is scheduled to be run on Friday. Adore Me’s success was the third leg of a treble for Rasmussen from the first four races on the program. Capturing a Drivers’ Invitational event with Ive Gottalife, Rasmussen and Purdon also combined to annex the New South Wales Oaks with Fight For Glory. PAUL COURTS

Top pacer Beautide has joined an elite harness racing fraternity thanks to his scintillating victory at Tabcorp Park Menangle just moments ago. The James Rattray - trained gelding trounced his rivals to successfully defend the TAB.COM.AU Inter Dominion title he won last year. Reminiscent of his first victory in the time-honoured Championship, Beautide worked in the ‘death seat’ before sprinting clear along the home straight to score by 14 metres from Flaming Flutter. After filling the minor placing last year, For A Reason was third again for trainer Belinda McCarthy. Despite being reshod just before the beginning of the $750,000 Group One, Beautide rated a brilliant 1:55.8 for the 3009-metre marathon, with this time just three-tenths of a second outside the track record he established during last year’s Inter Dominon. "It wasn’t ideal, he threw a shoe, he was feeling above himself, but that’s the way we like to race him,” Rattray said. “After the way he won his heat, I was confident we’d go well today. “This horse looks to be labouring until you ask him to go.” Beautide’s latest triumph – his 44th from 72 starts – makes him just the sixth champion to retain his title. Former super star Hondo Grattan was the ground breaker in 1973 and ’74, with his second victory coming in one of the most action-packed Finals on all-time. A fall soon after the start saw half the field knocked out of contention before Hondo Grattan achieved immortality on the tight Gloucester Park circuit. Dour stayer Gammalite followed suit in 1983 and ’84 before being joined by Our Sir Vancelot in 1997, ’98 and ’99, Blacks A Fake in 2006, ’07 and ’08 and Im Themightyquinn in 2011, ’12 and ’13. Former warhorse, Captain Sandy, is the only dual Inter Dominion winner, having scored in 1950 and 1953. As for Beautide, the locally-trained son of Bettors Delight will be given a short break before tackling next month’s Len Smith Mile. Beautide won last season’s edition of the Group One sprint in 1:53.1. The seven-year-old will then spend an extended stint in a paddock before being readied for the Perth Inter Dominion in December. “The $1.3million prizemoney is a tremendous incentive and the three-week carnival will also suit Beau as it gives me time to prepare him for each heat and the Final,” Rattray said. PAUL COURTS

Leading Victorian harness racing trainer Emma Stewart claimed consecutive New South Wales Derby victories thanks to Ideal For Real’s gutsy performance at Tabcorp Park Menangle just moments ago. Outstaying his rivals with master reinsman Gavin Lang in the sulky, Ideal For Real follows on from Major Secret’s success last season. Naturally thrilled with the performance, Stewart will give the son of American Ideal a short break before embarking on another feature race campaign. “To win this race two years in a row is a great thrill,” Stewart declared. “Major Secret went terrific last year and now Ideal For Real has put in a huge ran. “It was tight at the finish, but I knew he’d got there in time. “He will go home now for a short spell, then we will get him revved up again for some of the majors later in the season.” Matching strides with the leader, Hug The Wind, along the home straight, Ideal For Real grabbed the front in the last stride to score by a half-head, with Sporty Spook seven metres away third. In an amazing performance from both stables, Stewart and New Zealand trainer Mark Purdon has filled the quinella in the first three Group Ones of the day. Purdon captured the New South Wales Oaks with Fight For Glory and the Ladyship Mile with Adore Me, while Stewart finished second with Delight Me and Beauty Secret. “Yeah it is good to turn the tables on Mark and win one of the Group Ones,” Stewart said. PAUL COURTS

Australians haven’t seen the last of star Kiwi harness racing performer Our Sky Major. Although part-owned on both sides of the Tasman, the son of Art Major is trained in New Zealand by champion horseman, Barry Purdon. As for his latest Aussie adventure, Our Sky Major captured the Chariots Of Fire at Tabcorp Park Menangle just moments ago. Driven by Zac Butcher, Our Sky Major accounted for Bling It On and Isaiah in 1:51.5 for the 1609-metre trip. Pleased with the four-year-old’s performance, Purdon revealed Our Sky Major will return to Australia – Victoria to be precise - later in the season for another shot at Breeders’ Crown glory. Our Sky Major finished third in the two-year-old division and fourth last season. First, the entire will return to the Shaky Isles for the Taylor Mile, Messenger and Harness Jewels. “He will go home now for our major four-year-old races, but will be back for the Breeders’ Crown in August,” Purdon said. Our Sky Major’s victory provided Purdon with his fourth triumph in the Chariots Of Fire since its inception in 1995. Capturing the inaugural running with Gingerman, Purdon also scored with Franco Hat Trick in 1998 and Holmes D G ’99. PAUL COURTS

Connections of talented pacer Mister Jay Cee are hoping he can change his family’s history in one of harness racing’s premier events. A well-bred gelding, Mister Jay Cee is engaged in Sunday’s Chariots Of Fire at Tabcorp Park Menangle. Despite drawing perfectly in barrier one, Mister Jay Cee is one of the outsiders for trainer Richard Baverstock. By Modert Art, the four-year-old is from Bettor By Far, making Mister Jay Cee a relative to Kept For Pleasure, Its My Pleasure and Nowtizku, which were all unplaced in the Group One. Kept For Pleasure finished sixth in the 2009 edition, followed by Its My Pleasure and Nowitzki, which finished seventh in 2011 and ’14. Thrilled with the draw, Baverstock feels Mister Jay Cee can upset a few of his rivals with the right run. “We are just rapt to make the Final,” Baverstock said. “He’s not quite up to the real top ones, but he goes well enough. “The biggest problem with him is he switches off in his races and drops the bit, which you can’t afford to do against this level. “If the penny drops with him he will be a lot better horse. “The draw has really helped and if he gets a good run along the pegs he may be able to sneak a placing.” PAUL COURTS

Exceptionally-bred filly Makes Every Scents will be out to emulate one of her mother’s feats when she competes at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Sunday. A member of the powerful Belinda McCarthy stable, Makes Every Scents is engaged in the New South Wales Oaks, a feature her dam – Scent – captured in 1997. Prepared by astute horseman Peter Walsh, Scent caused an upset by scoring at 15/1, with Dougals Dream (16/1) and Concorde Lombo, the 6/4 favourite, filling the placings. Like her mum, Makes Every Scents will have to upstage the favourite, Delight Me, with McCarhty's husband, Luke, in the cart. Although successful in her heat last weekend, Makes Every Scents is considered a $12 chance after drawing six. The daughter of Four Starzzz Shark will slot into four with the removal of the emergencies. Also successful in her heat, Delight Me is listed at $2.20 from the pole, with New Zealand raider Fight For Glory the second elect at $2.50. Prepared by champion Kiwi horseman Mark Purdon, Fight For Glory will begin from gate nine. Referring to the Blue Riband as one of the strongest on record, McCarthy is confident Makes Every Scents can join her mother on the honour roll. “We are very happy with her and she is in perfect condition for this,” McCarthy said. “It’s a tremendous Oaks, with so many wonderful fillies engaged. “The draw is a little tricky, but with a touch of luck and the right run she will be right in the finish. “She went well in her heat and her work has been terrific this week.” PAUL COURTS

INTER DOMINION! The very mention or sight of those two words screams Trans Tasman rivalry. Australia’s best and brightest against whatever the Kiwis have to offer…a battle for supremacy as man and beast ‘Tangle and Menangle’ for harness racing’s Holy Grail on Sunday. As a true patriot of the ‘sunburnt country’ it is pretty much illegal to tip against the Aussies – or barrack for a Kiwi for that matter. Furthermore, as a Victorian, patriotism demands support for the three Big V representatives – Flaming Flutter, Im Corzin Terror and Lennytheshark. Each has a reasonable chance of glory with the right amount of luck in transit. Of the trio, Lennytheshark stands out as the leading contender, especially after drawing perfectly in barrier one. Flaming Flutter will come from three, while Im Corzin Terror faces a tougher task from six. Winner of his qualifier at Melton a fortnight ago, Lennytheshark is in prime condition for the TAB.COM.AU sponsored event, with trainer David Aiken keeping the entire fresh for the time-honoured Championship. The fact Lennytheshark has ‘fresh legs’ is a major reason why the son of Four Starzzz Shark can upset the favourite, defending champion Beautide. Lennytheshark has had three starts this season, with each performance ultra-impressive. A first-up third in the Shepparton Cup at his standing start debut, Lennytheshark then finished second behind Christen Me in the Victoria Cup before capturing his Inter Dominion qualifier. The five-year-old is also expected to thrive on the spacious world class circuit and relish the 3009-metre trip. Lennytheshark’s previous visit to Menangle resulted in his victory in the New South Wales Derby. A consistent son of Bettors Delight, Flaming Flutter is more than capable of causing an upset for trainer Geoff Webster. Flaming Flutter has been among the placings in two Group Ones this term and gives every indication a top-shelf win isn’t far away. Successful in the Ballarat Cup in December, Im Corzin Terror has been racing below his best since, but showed a glimpse of improvement when third in his Inter heat. PAUL COURTS

Renowned breeding establishment Yirribee Pacing Stud is a constant source for top harness racing performers, with each season’s stock producing its share of winners. That said, Yirribee’s line-up at this year’s Australian Pacing Gold has the potential to be the best. Yirribee and clients have 11 yearlings in Saturday’s Sydney leg of the sale, with each destined to attract its share of attention and bids. None more so that Lot 393 – a colt by the ill-fate Rocknroll Hanover from one of the best mares produced on this side of the equator – Lombo La Fe Fe. Successful at 26 of her 44 starts, Lombo La Fe Fe captured the Group One APG Final at two and three, Bathurst Gold Tiara, Vicbred Super Series, Queensland Nursery and Australasian Breeders’ Crown. At stud, Lombo La Fe Fe has two winners from three starters, with Lot 393 her second colt…the mare’s first colt is one of this season’s two-year-olds. The youngster isn’t the only exceptionally-bred yearling in the collections, with Lot 287 a filly by Badlands Hanover from Weona Sassy – the same family as Weona Warrior, Weona Chief and Weona Brave. Lot 299 is another colt, this time by Mr Feelgood from Athletic River, which comes from the same clan as Surprise Package, Luxury Liner, Christopher Vance, Shardons Aflyin, Royal Surprise, Flaming Roadstar, Shardons Rocket, Precious Dylan, Knight Vance and Vi Et Animo. Another striking colt is Lot 293, which is by Courage Under Fire from All Fire N Ice, making him a relative to Group One winners Atitagain, Rain Again, Go West U Terror, Tricky Styx and Willow. On the subject of top shelf winners, Lot 313 is a filly with plenty on both sides of her bloodlines being by Mach Three from Boldandbeautiful. Speaking of fillies with tremendous bloodlines, Lot 333 comes from one of the best families in Australasia. Also by Mach Three from Elizabeth Kelly, she is closely-related to Albert Kelly, Greg Kelly, Mcraes Mate, Macca Kelly, Frith, Lady Waratah, Classic Garry, Provocative, Royal Verdict, Modern Girl and Hexham Heartbeat to name a select group. Lot 383 also hales from a tremendous clan, with his dam - La Promesse – boasting relatives such as Sir Galvinator, Espirt De Kaijay, Bronski Gorgeous, General Bronski, Benefactor, Brigadier Bronski, Major Bronski and Admiral Bronski. An athletic colt, Lot 383 is by highly sought-after stallion, Well Said. Not to be outdone, Lot 429 is a colt by proven American sire Western Ideal from former outstanding filly, Precious Delight, which was unbeaten from 11 starts during her debut season. Last, but by no means least is Lot 471 – a colt by the only pacer to capture Group Ones on both sides of the equator, Mr Feelgood from Tallaringa Drive, which was a feature race winning filly. At stud, Tallaringa Drive boasts six winners from eight starters, with Along with being in the rich Australian Pacing Gold series, the yearlings are eligible for Australasian Breeders’ Crown, Bathurst Gold Crown and New South Wales Breeders’ Challenge. PAUL COURTS

Prominent owner Merv Butterworth is poised to continue reaping the rewards of his decision to bypass the Inter Dominion. Unhappy with the conditions of the series, Butterworth elected to scratch A G Hunter Cup hero Arden Rooney from the time-honoured Championship, which concludes with Sunday’s Final at Tabcorp Park Menangle. As such, Arden Rooney has been aimed at local features, such as last weekend’s Terang Cup, which he captured in track record time. The son of Bettors Delight will aim for a Cup hat-trick when he takes his place in Geelong’s flagship event on Saturday night, with Butterworth confident the gelding can annex the popular event despite his awkward draw. Arden Rooney will begin from the outside of the second row for trainer-driver, Kerryn Manning. “The draw isn’t the best, but it’s no different to Terang,” Butterworth said. “He will be driven the same way as Terang. “He will be pushed forward at the start looking for the lead or ‘death’ and hopefully he can outstay them again.” Citing Metro Mike as the main danger, Butterworth also rates Keayang Steamer as a major threat despite his disappointing first-up run. Winner of his last two starts, Metro Mike has drawn to settle forward from barrier three, while Keayang Steamer will begin from barrier nine. One of last season’s surprise packages, Keayang Steamer was unplaced in the Terang Cup when first-up from a six-month spell. “Metro Mike is in good form and has the right draw to make a real go of it,” Butterworth said. “Keayang Steamer is a nice type and will certainly be fitter for the run.” PAUL COURTS

Two months ago leading Victorian harness racing trainer Emma Stewart had three of the top six contenders for Sunday’s Inter Dominion. As a result of various unforeseen circumstances, Stewart is without a starter in the sponsored event, but is still destined to play a major role at Tabcorp Park Menangle. Stewart, who prepares her team with partner Clayton Tonkin, will contest four Group Ones, with outstanding filly Delight Me heading the squad. Unbeaten from five starts this season, Delight Me has drawn to extend her winning sequence in the New South Wales Oaks. A stylish winner of her heat, the exceptionally-bred filly will begin from the pole for master reinsman Gavin Lang. “We are very pleased with her progress this season and she is going to be very hard to beat again from the pole,” Stewart said. “It is a pretty strong field, but there is no doubt she is up to this.” Stewart also has handy youngster Lovelist engaged in the classic, with the daughter of Always A Virgin drawn barrier four, but will slot into three with the removal of the emergency. “She was solid when third in her heat and will perform well again,” Stewart said. Stewart will then contest the Ladyship Mile with Lovelist’s ‘niece’, Beauty Secret, which has also drawn four, but will begin from three. Racing in her typical strong form, Beauty Secret faces a daunting task against star mares Frith and Adore Me. Local idol Frith will begin from the pole, with New Zealand darling, Adore Me, to come the outside of the front row. “This would have to be one of the strongest Ladyship Miles for some time,” Stewart said. “With a bit of luck the speed will be on from the outset and we will get a final crack at them.” Ideal For Real will then tackle the New South Wales Derby as Stewart aims for consecutive wins in the Blue Riband. Stewart captured last year’s edition with Major Secret – a half-brother to Beauty Secret. Triumphant in his heat, Ideal For Real will need more than his share of luck from gate nine. On the other side of the scale, Hug The Wind, which won his heat, will begin from the pole. “The draw makes it tough, but he is racing well enough to overcome it,” Stewart said. “He’ll need a bit of luck, but if breaks go his way he is going to be very hard to beat.” Exciting pacer Yankee Rockstar will then take his place in the Chariots Of Fire, a feature Stewart won last season with Guaranteed. Yankee Rockstar has won seven of his eight starts for the term, with his only defeat coming at Menangle when third behind Bling It On, which is the favourite once again. A member of the Belinda McCarthy stable, Bling It On has drawn to lead throughout from barrier three. “The draw has made it tough on Yankee Rockstar as well, but he is still in with a chance,” Stewart said. “He’s also going to need a few things go his way, but he is more than capable of taking it out.” PAUL COURTS

Winners…winners…winners! When examining this colt’s bloodlines, one pattern begins to emerge – his family is crammed with winners. A handsome brown yearling, the colt is heading for Saturday’s Sydney Australian Pacing Gold Sale as part of the Yirribee Pacing Stud offerings. Set to enter the ring as Lot 383, the colt is by former American Three-Year-Old of the Year, Well Said, which became just the second pacer to capture USA’s ‘big three’ - The Little Brown Jug, Meadowlands Pace and North America Cup. In his homeland, Well Said’s progeny have been commanding plenty of attention, with Lot 383 one of only two colt’s by the stallion in the sale. As for the maternal line, he is the second foal from exceptionally-bred mare, La Promesse. La Promesse is from broodmare gem Promise, which boasts nine winners from 10 starters, including Sir Galvinator ($516,723), Espirt De Kaijay ($455,053) and Bronski Gorgeous ($210,622). The family also includes General Bronski, Benefactor, Brigadier Bronski, Major Bronski and Admiral Bronski. Along with being in the rich APG race series, Lot 383 is eligible for the Australasian Breeders’ Crown, Bathurst Gold Crown and New South Wales Breeders’ Challenge. PAUL COURTS

Top pacer Beautide has drawn well in his bid to join an elite harness racing fraternity at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Sunday. Engaged in the Inter Dominion, the James Rattray-trained gelding is aiming to become just the sixth champion to retain his title. Former super star Hondo Grattan was the ground breaker in 1973 and ’74, with his second victory coming in one of the most action-packed Finals on all-time. A fall soon after the start saw half the field knocked out of contention before Hondo Grattan achieved immortality on the tight Gloucester Park circuit. Dour stayer Gammalite followed suit in 1983 and ’84 before being joined by Our Sir Vancelot in 1997, ’98 and ’99, Blacks A Fake in 2006, ’07 and ’08 and Im Themightyquinn in 2011, ’12 and ’13. Former warhorse, Captain Sandy, is the only dual Inter Dominion winner, having scored in 1950 and 1953. As for Beautide, the locally-trained pacer will begin from barrier five, which should see the son of Bettor’s Delight worked to the lead soon after the start. TAB Fixed Odds has the seven-year-old, which was a brilliant winner of his heat, at $2.10. Exciting Victorian Lennytheshark has firmed as the defending champ’s main danger after drawing perfectly in the pole. Also successful in his heat, Lennytheshark was regarded as the biggest threat before the barrier draw. A not quick beginner, the David Aiken-trained stallion is expected to lead early before taking a trail behind Beautide. On the opposite end of the scale, New Zealand raider, Terror To Love, has continued to attract the visitors’ draw and will begin from nine. PAUL COURTS

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