Our stars vie for glory interstate

TASMANIAN racing could be headed for one its biggest weekends on record, as star pacer Beautide and top greyhound Buckle Up Wes chase huge prestige and prizemoney on interstate tracks.

At The Meadows in Melbourne tomorrow night, Buckle Up Wes will run in the group 1 $350,000 Australian Cup, one of the biggest events on the Australian greyhound racing calendar.

Then, at Menangle in Sydney on Sunday afternoon, Beautide will take on the best pacers in Australasia in the group 1 $750,000 Inter-Dominion grand final.

Buckle Up Wes is a $7 chance with Tattsbet in its fixed-odds market, while Beautide is a $3.90 equal favourite.

If Beautide is successful, he will become only the ninth horse in history to win Australian harness racing's two biggest races - the Miracle Mile and the Inter-Dominion.

Only Hondo Grattan, Young Quinn, Preux Chevalier, Village Kid, Our Maestro, Westburn Grant, Our Sir Vancelot and Smooth Satin have completed the double.

Beautide won the $750,000 Miracle Mile at Menangle in November - the first Tasmanian horse to do so since Halwes in 1968.

The last Tasmanian winner of the Inter-Dominion was Thorate in 1990.

Beautide is raced by the family trust of Longford trainer Barrie Rattray and is prepared in Sydney by his son James.

Buckle Up Wes is raced by the North-West Coast-based Johnson Sutton Syndicate and is trained at Mangalore by Ted Medhurst.

Although he's been a prolific winner - 19 races from only 33 starts - Buckle Up Wes will almost double his lifetime earnings of $74,000 if he runs only second in the Australian Cup.

The breakdown of prizemoney is $250,000 for first, $70,000 for second and $35,000 for third.

Beautide has already earned $839,000 and will add another $450,000 to that tally if he wins the Inter-Dominion.

Three other Tasmanians will take centre stage during the Inter-Dominion meeting.

Dylan Ford, representing his home state, and Josh Duggan, representing his adopted state of Victoria, will compete in the final heat of the Australasian Young Drivers Championship, a race worth $50,000.

And, Kate MacLeod will represent Tasmania in the $50,000 Lady Drivers Invitation, where she has drawn $14 chance Ballochbuie.

In the junior drivers' race, Duggan has drawn $4.50 second favourite Condagen, while Ford will be on $17 chance Little Red Cloud.

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