The reinvention of the InterDominion – with a night of heats around Australia and New Zealand last weekend – failed to capture the attention of punters. However, with a couple of tweaks it could get back to being a showcase event. The confusion of having the heats ranked and different numbers of places available from each heat can not continue. The series needs to revert to a test of the toughest and best horses.
Seven days out from the final there is little to talk about because there is no uncertainty about which horses will be there. The InterDominion has always been for the elite band of the sport, so there are really only about 20 horses capable of making the final at most times. It can make for boring racing having heats with multiple places on offer because certain horses, like Im Themightyquinn, Terror To Love, Caribbean Blaster and Mah Sish were expected to win and did in their respective heats. Others were happy to follow and pick up a spot for running a place.
The heats in each state and New Zealand should stay, but only each winner should go through to the final a fortnight later. The also-rans should be give the chance to earn a spot a week later in a second round of heats at Menangle. Racing is about winning and only the winners going through would make for more exciting heats and make two hours of power across the heats a better product.
The absence of four-year-olds and mares takes away storylines from the series. The Chariots Of Fire and Ladyship Mile would be better placed on the program a week out from the final, with the winner getting a spot in the sport's biggest event. The second round of heats could offer a couple of spots and would give drama to the series, especially if one of the main fancies missed automatic qualification the previous before. This would help the InterDominion back to its pedestal.