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The Interdominions are upon us and they look to be one of the strangest yet. Just six New Zealand horses will contest the Melbourne series that starts at Melton tomorrow night.
They are not the six best horses we ever sent to the gruelling series, though that is not to discount them altogether.
Let's have a look at their chances.
It was hard to get a line on Speeding Spur over the New Zealand Cup carnival. He is not at his absolute prime, which is fair enough considering his battles with injury and the length of his career.
Two things could counter that. Firstly, he thrives in Australia. Secondly, he does not have to beat much to win the Interdominion trotting title. He meets just a fair bunch of squaregaiters on the whole - none his camp would be scared of.
If the Interdominion format is going to suit any horse, it would be this old Oamaru war horse. When things get tough, he simply keeps soldiering on.
Against Monty Python is that the two opening heats are over the sprint distances of 2240m and 1710m. He will need to pick up vital points in those so he can show off his staying prowess in the 2760m final.
This season has not been all sunshine and rainbows for Alderbeck. On form, it would be a bold prediction to say she could win an Interdominion title. A mixture of bad luck and below-par performances suggest she has just an outside winning chance.
Luckily Alderbeck has master trainer Phil Williamson with her in Australia and I he is bound to have a pinpoint plan to turn that all around.
Her speed should be an asset in the opening heats of the series. If she is tucked away in the staying heats she could reel off a fast last 400m and fly past many of her rivals.
It is pretty bold to suggest he is a New Zealander - he will fly the Kiwi flag just weeks after joining the Purdon-Rasmussen stable after spending his whole career in Australia.
With the talent he has shown in their blue colours he looms as massive chance. He can sprint, he can stay and he has gate speed. Cruz Bromac is a series threat.
It is a strange old path to tread from the Tuapeka Cup to the Interdominion Grand Final.
Pat's Delight has returned in such good order this season that the expectations set for him have skyrocketed. He could be the most talented horse in the series.
But is he ready for the hard format of the Interdominions?
If he is he is a genuine winning chance. Forget his New Zealand Cup carnival runs where things went against him. Think back to his Kaikoura Cup run. He is a genuine star.
He is certainly the most mysterious of the New Zealand representatives.
Spankem surprised plenty of us when he won the Kaikoura Cup earlier this season.
He would not be at this series if Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen did not think he would be competitive.
It is too early yet to suggest he could be a winning hope.Punters should assess him after the first two rounds.