THOUSANDS of interstate and international visitors are expected to converge on WA later this year for the richest harness racing series in the world.
The $1.3 million Inter Dominion will conclude with a grand final at Gloucester Park on December 13, wrapping up a series that will start two weeks prior with qualifying heats.
Trainer Gary Hall, who has won the Inter Dominion three times with Im Themightyquinn, said he hoped to continue the good form he has had this season.
“We have won about $2.6 million in state money,” he said.
“We have won a few races so I think I will be a force in my current form.”
Hall likened the event to the Melbourne Cup of harness racing and said he was hoping the stronger horses from the eastern states would come over to make it a tough competition. The Inter Dominion coincides with New Zealand Cup so a lot of New Zealand stars may stay there for the cup,” he said. “I would hope to have four or five for the whole series, but whether they qualify or not is in the hands of the gods.”
“It won’t be an easy task to make the final; to make the $1.3 million final you have to be a serious horse.”
Hall continued his strong form on the weekend, with a win in race five Gloucester Park at Bunbury with Crusader Banner, which was driven by his son Gary Hall Jr.
The win came with more than $12,000 in prize money.
Racing and Gaming Minister Colin Holt said an afternoon start would allow organisers to stream the race into eastern states and New Zealand during prime time.
“As well as a substantial television audience, we are expecting more than 32,000 people to attend the series over the four race meets,” he said.
“More than 3000 interstate and international trainers, horse owners and trotting fans are expected to visit Perth and Bunbury during the two-week series, tipping hundreds of thousands of dollars into the local economy.”
Mr Holt said WA would be the epicentre of Australian racing and pacing for a month, with the event coinciding with Perth’s busy late spring and summer thoroughbred carnival period.