Is Blackie The Best?

    Can there be an open age pacer,
anywhere in the world, better than
Australian superstar Blacks A Fake?
This is not a pointed question, but
a genuine quiz of Harness Edge readers
around the globe.
    Personally, I don’t know the answer,
but after what transpired in Melbourne
recently, I’m prepared to risk my money
that he’s the best.
     And the exciting news that has just
broken here may well give us a definitive
answer in the next 12 months.
    For the record, and I will go into some
detail a little later in this column, Blacks A
Fake won the $400,000 (Aus) A.G. Hunter
Cup (February 3) off a daunting 30 metre
handicap, then came out and won his third consecutive $750,000 Inter Dominion Final (on March 1) becoming just the second horse in history to accomplish that feat. He broke the track record in the Hunter Cup, and was one-tenth of a second off the track record in the Inter Dominion Final.     
     This extraordinary seven-year-old
son of Fake Left has now won $2,831,814
from 53 starts, and if anything appears to
be getting better.
    Next year he will be shooting for an
unprecedented four consecutive Inter
    Dominion titles, and this time he will be
on his home soil in Queensland.
    Anyway, remember the ill-fated
World Cup series run at The Meadowlands in the early 80s? Some of the world’s best horses were invited to take part, and for a few years it created real interest across the harness world. There were even a few Australian horses that made the trip, without success, including 1981 Inter Dominion winner, San Simeon.

    Sadly, for a variety of reasons, it
ceased in the mid-80s, but come April
next year, it could be back, only this time
in Australia.
    And if we believe what has been released by officials in Queensland, the host state of next year’s Inter Dominion series, it will go for $1 million.
    The plan is to run the World Pacing
Cup two weeks after the Inter Dominion
Final, which is planned to carry a purse
of $1.6 million; that’s $1 million to the
winner!
    Just so we are clear, the Australian
dollar is currently at 94 US cents, and still
gaining, so this is serious money.
    This is unquestionably a serious
attempt to attract the best horses from
across North America to come to Australia
and compete for huge prize money.
    The organizers claim they will put
together a six week package of highlystaked races to entice the best from North America.
    The words ‘parochial’ and ‘Queenslander’ are pretty much one and the same, and any Queenslander you meet
won’t hear of the suggestion there
might be a better horse, anywhere, than
Blackie.
    And yet, it is the Queenslanders,
headed by mega-rich harness enthusiast
Kevin Seymour, coming up with the
idea to attract the world’s best to take on
Blackie next year.
    April, 2009, is a long way away, and a
lot of things can happen in that time.
    Blacks A Fake will be eight years old
and in the twilight of his great career, but
to Seymour and his henchmen, it’s the
glory of the Inter Dominion, and the challenge of getting the best horses from the Northern Hemisphere to Queensland that are paramount.

  
Neale Donnelley

   There will be nowhere else in the
world where open age horses will be able
    to compete for such money, and there are a few other advantages as well.
    Brisbane is one hour down the highway
from the world famous Gold Coast, a
fabulous place to spend some time.
    The weather in this part of the world,
at this time of the year, will be nothing
short of sensational. Try 27 or 28 degrees
Celsius every day, with evenings dropping
to nothing under 20. It truly is the right
time and the right place.
    All the details of the planned sixweek
carnival of racing have not been
finalized, but you can be assured it will be
innovative, enticing and financially very
rewarding.
    Whether you’re an Aussie, a Kiwi, a
Yank or a Canuck, the whole concept of
ID09 (Inter Dominion, 2009), a World Cup,
strong support races, and the Gold Coast
in the background, is genuinely exciting.
So that’s the news of the hour.

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