Night two of the 2016 Interdominion Series moves south to the provincial track of Bunbury with the three heats to be conducted over 2100m. Like Night One at Gloucester Park, there are ten runners in the three heats, however with a different starting configuration in place at Bunbury, there will be seven horses off the front line of the barrier and three off the second line.
Heat Four looks an open contest with Smolda narrowly holding sway at the top of the market ahead of Run Oneover. Smolda has drawn gate 9 again, however with the configuration changes, the trailing draw looks more suitable than Friday night where he started from outside the front line. Our Jimmy Johnstone faces a tricky draw from the inside of the second line, despite placing in his Night One heat.
Hectorjayjay was dominant in winning on Night One and has been put up a short priced favourite to take out Heat Five after drawing ideally in gate 2. Bettors Fire will start from gate 4 with trainer/driver Kyle Harper on the fifth line of the market, the 8YO gelding winning his heat on Night One. Beaudiene Boaz hit the line strongly in his heat on Night One and faces a tricky draw from inside the second line, yet is maintaining his position on the second line of the market.
Heat Six will see Lennytheshark breakthrough $2million in stake earnings if successful, becoming the 15th Australasian pacer to achieve that feat. He faces only one other placegetter from Night One in his heat and despite the tricky starting position looks to be the easiest of the three heats for Night Two. John Of Arc worked home well in his heat run when finishing 3rd to Bettors Fire and he holds onto the 2nd line of the market, narrowly ahead of Bling It On who looked to have his chance on Friday but could only manage 5th.
Smolda worked hard after starting from the widest gate on Friday when pressing forward wide on the track in the fastest lead time sectional of the three heats. Brave in defeat, he fought all the way to the line. His lead in to this ID series was via the New Zealand Cup where he was 4th to Lazarus and 2nd in the G2 Kaikoura Cup behind Franco Nelson.
Started off gate 9 on Friday and went back early as Hectorjayjay sped across to make the early speed and was then sent forward to face the breeze and fought on well to hold 2nd in the fastest heat of the night. Finished 2nd in the G2 Mount Eden Pace and then 6th in the G2 Bunbury Cup leading in to this series.
Leading in to this series, Franco Nelson won the New Brighton Cup, ending a 10-run winning streak of Lazarus and is the last horse to defeat the champion 4YO. He then took out the Kaikoura Cup before finishing 6th in the New Zealand Cup behind Lazarus. He showed early speed before taking running line cover on Run Oneover on Friday and held on for 3rd.
The series favourite prior to any heat being run, the dominance of his win has kept him at the head of the market for the Final. Pressing forward from gate 8 he found the front and kept them running, going on to score the fastest win of the three heats. He draws ideally in gate 2 as he looks to justify his short quote.
Securing his third successive 2nd place finish when closing out late in the heat win of Lennytheshark, he looks the best of the Gary Hall Snr trained quintet following the first night heats. After sliding across early before receiving running line cover, he worked home well. Inside the 2nd line on Night Two, looks a sticky position to be in.
Finding the front from gate 3 in his heat, Bettor Fire was able to control the tempo and lead all the way, posting a 1.6m winning margin over Smolda who had sat at his wheel for most of the trip. He might have to work hard in the run here, as it is unlikely he will cross to the lead with the fast beginner Hectorjayjay drawn to his inside.
Lenny was very impressive in the first step to his title defence, moving around to lead the one-wide line and then proving too strong in the run to the post, putting down the fastest closing 800m of the three heats in 54.6. From inside the 2nd line in this heat, he will likely pull back early before circling the field.
The least experienced runner in the series with just 30 career starts to his name before the series started, he had won 16 of 23 races for Gary Hall Snr before being transferred to Dalton’s stable. Winning two races leading in to his Interdominion tilt, John Of Arc pressed forward early before taking cover on Smolda and held on well for 3rd.
He looked to have his chance on Night One and didn’t make much ground when working home through the centre of the pack. He entered this series with a strong win over Lennytheshark and with a favourable barrier once again in this heat, he will be looking to get maximum points to ensure a position in the Final.