Interdominion to return to WA

Ernie Manning

Perth will host the world's richest pacing race when a $1.3 million Inter Dominion final (2536m) is run at Gloucester Park's carnival in November next year.

Racing and Gaming Minister Terry Waldron announced yesterday that the Inters would return to WA and said a round of heats would be held at Pinjarra for the first time.

The TABtouch Inters series will be staged in WA for three consecutive years from 2015-16 to 2017-18 and coincide with the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) and Kingston Town Classic (1800m) at Ascot.

"Stakes totalling $1.8 million will be offered at next year's series, to be capped by a $1.3 million final," Waldron said.

"Racing and Wagering WA and Gloucester Park's successful Inters bid will lead to a big tourism boost.

"Inters qualifying heats are traditionally conducted on city tracks. A decision to run the second round of heats at Pinjarra will focus attention on country trotting."

The Inters, launched at Gloucester Park in 1936, have been run on a rotational basis between Australian States and New Zealand. Perth last hosted the series in 2012.

Sydney won a bidding tussle for the past two Inters. The finals were held at Menangle.

"NSW broke tradition when they decided last year to hold an Inters qualifying heat in various Australian States and New Zealand," Gloucester Park president John Burt said.

"WA is going back to the system which provided true Inters tests for more than 70 years.

"We'll reintroduce a concept of having three rounds of qualifying heats in the host State over two weeks before the final."

Gloucester Park chief executive Michael Radley said opening heats would be run at the East Perth venue on November 27, 2015 before heading south.

"Lighting will be installed at Pinjarra and we'll have heats there at a night meeting on the following Tuesday," he said.

"It'll be back to Gloucester Park for concluding heats and then the final on December 11.

"The Golden Nugget, Mares' Classic and other feature events will also be run at the Inters final meeting."

RWWA chief executive Richard Burt said TABtouch had signed on for three years as naming- rights sponsor.

"The prize money on offer will ensure the best of harness racing is showcased internationally," Burt said.

WA champion Im Themightyquinn, a winner of Inters finals in New Zealand, Perth and Sydney, paraded during the Inters launch at Gloucester Park yesterday. He is in line to equal Blacks A Fake's record four Inters titles.