ANOTHER start in Australia’s premier harness racing event, the Inter Dominion, could be on the cards for The Lagoon trainer Steve Turnbull following the third Group 3 win this season for Joes Star Of Mia.
Joes Star Of Mia led all the way in Saturday’s Nick Robin Free For All (1609 metres), holding out a wall of fast-finishing challengers to win in a scorching 1:49.3 mile rate.
The Roll With Joe x Star Of Mia stallion will have undoubtedly raised his breeding stocks by cracking the 1:50 mark but will improve his standing in his bid for a start in the $500,000 Inter Dominion.
Joes Star Of Mia has rocketed up from 47 to 25 in the Inter Dominion rankings following Wednesday’s third adjustment.
In his eye-catching performance on Saturday Joes Star Of Mia beat a host of horses ahead of him in those rankings, including Let It Ride (2), My Alpha Rock (15) and Mach Doro (16).
Amanda Turnbull drove Joes Star Of Mia ($7) to victory with sectionals of 26.5, 28, 27.3 and 27.5.
Maximan ($10) beat Real Stride ($151) in a photo for the runner-up spot 1.3m behind the winner.
Steve Turnbull said it’s exciting for him and owner John Starr to have a horse in the running for the lucrative grand circuit event.
“He’d been racing really well against the open class,” he said.
“We said to the owner if he runs a place then we’ll be over the moon and we’ll still be alright for the Inter Dominion but he went ahead and won it.”
Turnbull’s bigger Inter Dominion hope this season was with Atomic Red who was scratched from the standings while sitting 12th in the order due to a leg injury.
Atomic Red was named an emergency for last season's Miracle Mile and looked a leading finals contender for the Inter Dominion.
Only Western Australian super star Chicago Bull (1) stood higher in the rankings before being withdrawn, his exit due to multiple back fractures.
“Conviction has still got to jump right up the standings to get a start in it and Atomic Red has gone wrong on us. He’s had a problem with his knee so he’s been turned down,” Turnbull said.
“He’s the toughest of the group. They’ve always worked together, and there’s not much between them, but you can’t take anything away from the way Joes Star Of Mia ran the other night.”
There are still a host of Bathurst-trained chances among the remaining group of 71 horses.
Ellmers Image (46, Amanda Turnbull), Conviction (52, Steve Turnbull), Our Uncle Sam (59, Chris Frisby) and Saloon Passage (71, Nathan Hurst) will need big results before the final rankings deadline to book their place in the heats.
Fourth and final Inter Dominion rankings will be released on November 21.
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