Swayzee heads to Inter Dominion

NEW Zealand Cup hero Swayzee will take his place in the Brisbane Inter Dominion.

After much debate and uncertainty, trainer Jason Grimson has confirmed Swayzee will headline a team of pacers he is taking to Brisbane for the opening round of heats at Albion Park on Friday night.

Grimson is trying to become the first trainer to win three successive Inter Dominion pacing finals with different horses after Boncel Benjamin won in Sydney in 2021 and I Cast No Shadow did it in Melbourne last year.

And Swayzee is aiming to match the deeds of the great Lazarus as the last pacer to win the NZ Cup and Inter Dominion finals within months of each other. He did so in 2017.

Before that, you have to go right back to another star Kiwi pacer, Yulestar, who won the 2000 NZ Cup and then Brisbane Inter Dominion final a few months later in early 2001.

Queries emerged over Swayzee’s Inter Dominion campaign when Grimson said it took him a while to recover from his NZ Cup win and he was scratched from the NZ free-for-all a few days later.

But the five-year-old has reportedly thrived since returning to Grimson’s Menangle barn early last week.

Swayzee’s presence in Brisbane is a dream scenario for Albion Park officials.

It sets the stage for what should be an epic rematch between Swayzee and his superstar half-brother, Leap To Fame.

The clash at Albion Park in the Group 1 Blacks A Fake on July 22 when Swayzee found the lead and upset Leap To Fame, who was a $1.40 favourite.

But Leap To Fame sustained a flat tyre, which eventually wrapped around the sulky wheel and seized it. His effort to run second was monstrous.

Swayzee has since gone on to stretch his unbeaten record in Grimson’s care to nine races.

And that NZ Cup win was something to behold.

Leap To Fame has since been beaten – albeit after hard runs – in the inaugural TAB Eureka and the Victoria Cup.

But he looked right back to his very best and primed for the Inter Dominion two week’s ago when he smashed the 2138m Albion Park record that he and Swayzee previously shared together.

Leap To Fame is $1.90 favourite in prepost final markets, but Swayzee firmed from $4.50 into $4 after confirmation he would be in Brisbane.

Many feel the final is a race in two even before a heat is run.

But that’s discounting the likes of proven Group 1 winners like Rock N Roll Doo, Better Eclipse and Spirit Of St Louis.

The trotting series is headlined by defending champion Just Believe, who is a $1.80 favourite, ahead of Kiwi owned and bred mare Queen Elida ($3.50).

The fields for the first round of heats will be released on Monday.

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