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    Big guns fire on Inter Dom night two Big guns fire on Inter Dom night two

    IMPRESSSIVE WINNER: Speak The Truth. - Photo Dan Costello

    IT was hardly a night of surprises in the second round of heats of the 2023 Inter Dominion at Albion Park tonight. The series... Big guns fire on Inter Dom night two
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    IT was hardly a night of surprises in the second round of heats of the 2023 Inter Dominion at Albion Park tonight.

    The series favourite scored a close win; the second favourite was a plucky third and most of the pacing heats went exactly the way most experts predicted they would.

    First blood on Inter Dominion night two went to Speak The Truth and Adam Sanderson, who led all the way with the Shannon Price-trained four-year-old, beating Petes Said So and NZ Cup winner Swayzee in a slick 1:51.9 mile rate in the first of the three pacing heats.

    “You dream about stuff like this,” grinned Sanderson as he brought Speak The Truth back after his impressive victory.

    “The fact this horse went out and got the job done like that was really a bonus.

    “He has really stepped up this preparation and can only improve from that win.

    “When he gets to the longer journey that should suit him even more.

    “And if he goes on and makes the final, well, they’ll know he’s there . . . he’ll give them something to think about.”

    Sanderson was happy to run them along in front and on the home turn had all his rivals off the bit and chasing hard.

    Petes Said So (Rob Morris) came off Speak The Truth’s back and tried hard in the straight before finish second, 1.6m from the winner.

    And even though gun reinsman Cameron Hart had expertly steered Swayzee away from the pegs, he was caught wide for much of the last lap and couldn’t make up the ground before a solid third place, another four metres further afield.

    “My bloke made them work for it and he was still strong on the line,” said Sanderson.

    “Having the gate speed that he does have is another bonus and it’s a great help in races like these, that’s for sure.”

    • The second heat of the night saw Turn It Up lead with Better Eclipse content to sit outside him for most of the journey. The Jason Grimson-trained Nerano (Cam Hart) sat one out and one back.

    Turning for home, Nerano let down beautifully to round up the two front-runners and score in a 1:54.1 mile rate, scoring by one and a half metres from Better Eclipse (Greg Sugars).

    “He’s a super quick horse, for sure,” said Hart.

    “I said the other day he’s closest to the quickest horse I’ve driven over a couple of hundred metres.

    “And he’s not one dimensional. We came out hard to get in a good position.

    “And he relaxed so well after that and then tonight showed the dash that he has.

    “It always helps when you have a good start in the first couple of heats.

    “And he’s holding his form really well.

    “There’s no decision [on finals drive] to make just yet – there’s a fair bit of this Inter Dominion to go yet.”

    • The night’s third 2138m heat went the way of series favourite Leap To Fame, scoring a last-stride win over Spirit Of St Louis, with Our Money Rocks third in a 1:52.2 mile rate.

    The champion Queenslander certainly had a harder run than his trainer-driver Grant Dixon wanted him to.

    But he did the job and held off some serious challenges in the run to the line.

    “I really had to go when I did when a few others were making moves,” said Dixon post-race.

    “Certainly, it was a harder run than we wanted.

    “Everyone kept grabbing up, but my bloke did the job in pretty good style really.

    “He felt bright all week and was really bright in the parade ring so we’re looking forward to Saturday night now.

    “That is probably his best distance, so all going well he’ll get his shot.

    “We’re looking forward to it.”

    Jack Callaghan was not too disappointed with Spirit Of Callaghan’s strong effort to finish second.

    “Initially I thought he was only fair on night one but after looking at the times I re-assessed and realized he couldn’t have done much more,” said Callaghan.

    “The way this track plays, the fence is crucial, so the plan is to get there.”

    Callaghan did that, not contesting the lead but spearing straight to the pegs behind Our Money Rocks, who tried to lead all the way and finished a gallant third to the star pairing.

    TOP PACING POINTS SCORES AFTER ROUND TWO:

    29 Leap T Fame

    26 Nerano, Better Eclipse

    24 Swayzee

    22 Future Assured

    19 Classie Washington, Turn It Up, Speak The Truth

    18 Manila Playboy, Petes Said So

    17 Spirit Of St Louis

    16 Our Money Rocks

     

     

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