AS THE countdown to Sunday’s third round of TAB Inter Dominion heats continues, we travel back in time to relive past editions of the Championships hosted by Club Menangle.
IN WHAT was considered the most successful and celebrated three consecutive years in the Championship’s history, Club Menangle hosted its third Inter Dominion in 2015.
The triple treat was the result of new roster arangement announced by the ID Council, which required a jurisdiction to conduct the series in three-year blocks!
West Australian superstar Im Themightyquinn captured the 2013 edition to complete a hat-trick for trainer Gary Hall.
Driven by Gary junior, Im Themightyquinn registered a four-metre win from Mah Sish, with Excel Stride a half-neck away third.
The following year Beautide became the sixth Tasmanian-bred pacer to capture the series, joining Springfield Globe (1939), Bandbox (1947), Chamfers Star (1966), Stanley Rio (1977) and Thorate (1990) on the honour roll.
In 2015, Beautide was back to defend his title again a plethora of high class opponents.
As was the case during the two previous years, the New South Wales Harness Racing Club staged heats across Australia on the same night – February 14.
Tabcorp Park Melton, Gloucester Park and Albion Park ran a qualifier, with two conducted at the ‘home’ venue.
Queensland’s latest rising star Majestic Mach justified his hype with a fast 1:54.7 heat win for trainer Grant Dixon.
Down south, another up-and-comer, Lennytheshark, led throghout to score from Flaming Flutter and Im Corzin Terror in 1:55.9 over 2240 metres.
On the other side of the Nullarbor David Hercules lived up to his name, with a strong win from Pacific Warrior and Dynamite Dude.
After racing in the ‘death seat’, David Hercules rated 1:56.7 for the 2536-metre trip.
Back at the host track, Beautide issued a sound warning he is ready to successfully defend his title by securing his heat in effortless fashion.
Providing trainer James Rattray with an armchair drive, Beautide rated 1:54.4 over 2400 metres as For A Reason and Monifieth filled the placings.
Outsider Ultimate Art then caused an upset when emerging triumphant as a $22.70 shot for astute horsman Michael Formosa.
After trailing the pacemaker, Easy On The Eye, Ultimate Art gained an opening at the right time to reach the lead in the last stride – scoring by a head from ghe pacemaker.
Terror To Love was a metre away third in 1:57.
Along with the various winners, heat placegetters and a pair of ‘wildcards’ were granted entry into the Group One at Club Menangle on March 1.
In barrier order, the field was Lennytheshark, Blazin N Cullen, Flaming Flutter, Ultimate Art, Beautide, Im Corzin Terror, Monifieth, Majestic Mach, Terror To Love, David Hercules, For A Reason, Easy On The Eye, Avonnova and Teo Enteo.
Beautide headed the market at $1.70, with Lennytheshark considered the main danger at $5.60.
As he did the previous year, Beautide worked overtime in the ‘death seat’ as Terror To Love set the pace.
Forging his way to the front at the top of he home straight, Beautide treated his rivals with contempt as he sprinted to a 14-metre win from $43 chance, Flaming Flutter.
In a case of deja vu from 014, For A Reason finished third again.
Beautide rated 1:55.8 for the marathon 3009 metres – three-tenths of a second outside the world record he established the previous year.
While his win seemed elementary enough, the moments before the Group One were anything but!
Just minutes before the scheduled start time Beautide had to be reshod.
“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.”