The Kiwi’s are simmering after the influx of Australian talent for the 2011 Interdominion series has completely dominated the betting markets.
Alexandra Park hasn’t been a happy place for Australian horses in the past but the top four horses in the pacing series markets with online bookmaker Luxbet are all from Australia.
It’s a similar story for the trotters with the Aussie contingent big favourites at the top with two horses.
Annoying the Kiwi’s even more is the fact three of the top six Aussie runners were in fact bred across the ditch in New Zealand.
Themightyquinn, Smoken Up and Sundon’s Gift all left New Zealand’s shores as decent runners but have been transformed into million dollar earners.
Some section of the New Zealand media argue there are some horses such as Christian Cullen and Elsu which could hold off the Aussie invasion but it’s a mute point given they are not there.
Auckland Reactor was shaping as their great hope but he may not even compete after his latest in a long series of issues.
In reality though New Zealand has a heap of horses and a heap of talented ones at that, but the Aussie contingent this year is just bigger, stronger, faster and a hell of a lot tougher.
That’s obvious to see with New Zealand still doing well in age-group races but the harder the racing gets the Aussies seem to be showing a hell of a lot more determination.
Few are more qualified to talk about it than champion New Zealand trainer Barry Purdon who has had plenty of success in Australia.
He says it’s the style of Aussie racing which is producing horses capable of sticking with it at Interdominion class.
“I think the way they race them over there makes them tougher.
“Sure, it goes in cycles but in Australia they are not scared to jump on a plane and head to Perth or put them on a float for 10 hours to go somewhere.
“And when they do race they are not scared to sit parked, like Mr Feelgood in the Auckland Cup.
“I think, eventually, that wears off on the horses and they get used to the hard work and the best ones seem to thrive on it.”
He says the extended seasons for two and three year olds in New zealand is also having a detrimental effect.
“We start earlier than they do in Australia but race too far into the season. I am a great believer in giving horses a decent spell but it is getting harder and harder to do that.
“I love the fact we have the Harness Jewels but it is too late in the season and then you even have some horses go to the Breeders Crown in Australia.
“So many of them burn out. We used to have an entourage of open-class horses, now we struggle to fill the best races. It is manageable but to do that you have to be brave and let your horse miss some big races.”
Purdon himself does have a runner in the Interdominion pacing series, Pembrook Benny which drew barrier one for tonight so is a good chance to work his way into the final on April 8th.
“I was thrilled with his run in the Auckland Cup because he worked early and was a clear third,” Purdon said.
“And I’d love to think he could win this series. But if he ended up parked in the final outside a horse like Mr Feelgood or Smoken Up I think I’d close my eyes and pretend it wasn’t happening.”
Nothing is certain in harness racing though and with the final still a good two weeks away Aussies shouldn’t be counting their win just yet.
One thing’s for sure though, it’s going to take a monster effort from any New Zealand horse to develop the courage and intestinal fortitude to match it with any of our best harness racers.
Show your Aussie spirit and get on board the 2011 Interdominion series by having a bet now with Luxbet.
You can support any of your favourite Australian horses with a $400 free bet guaranteed to lift the intensity of your national pride.
Alternatively if you’re a kiwi who fancies and upset form the land of the long white cloud then you too can claim $400 for your cause by registering now with Luxbet.
Hurry though, the 2011 Interdominion is upon us with only a limited time to grab your free $400 from Luxbet