By Adam Hamilton
THE traditional format of the Inter Dominion will be maintained when Melbourne, Auckland and Sydney host over the next three years.
In news which will delight harness diehards, it will soon be formalised that the initial proposal from just two rounds of qualifying rounds into a final has been ditched in favour of the three-heat series Perth resurrected for the past three years.
“It’s a done deal. It’s just a matter of when they announce it,” a source said.
“It’s true the plan was to cut it back from three rounds of heats to two, partly as a cost-cutter, but industry pressure caused a rethink. There will definitely be three round of heats in Victoria next year.”
It is understood the Victoria series will have at least two rounds of heats conducted as key regional tracks, along the lines of the Bunbury heats held over the past three years in Western Australia.
It makes sense as maintaining interest and pulling crowds over four meetings at Melton would be a challenge.
Other details soon to be formalised include the stakemoney for the final – reported to be around $500,000 – as well how much the heats will be worth.
The key to this next Melbourne/Auckland/Sydney rotation is the cooperation shown by the three bodies involved.
“We’ve been able to work together to find a way to keep the Inter Dominion going,” the source said. “Perth has done a terrific job of revitalising the Inter Dominion as an event and a brand and now it moves to Melbourne with a really good feel about it.”
One of the things Perth did was move the Inter Dominion forward from March to the late November/early December timeslot.
This proved largely successful and the event will stay in the timeslot for the th Melbourne, Auckland and Sydney hostings.
Approved By Dean Baring www.harnessbred.com
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