ID18 - The next chapter

Advanced in 1935-36 to deliver harness racing’s premium Southern Hemisphere event, the Inter Dominion has met its mark and become the ultimate test of equine speed and strength. It returns to Melbourne for the first time since 2008, with this year the first of a new dawn that will share the championship’s joy throughout Australasia.

The new standard

Only 13 years after William Samuel Cox transformed farmland into the Moonee Valley racecourse, the Moonee Ponds track would host the Inter Colonial Free For All. A three-heat series on March 4 1896, the 100-pound championship lured New Zealand champion trotter Calista, New South Wales trotting freak Fritz, Australia’s finest pacer Mystery, illustrious trotter Osterley and leading new South Wales trotter St Louis. The incomparable Fritz won in straight heats and more than 10 seconds were slashed from the Australasian mile record. It was hailed as the greatest trotting exhibition the Southern Hemisphere had seen.

The Inter Colonial Free For All was the first Inter Dominion-style championship. Some 30 years on, Western Australia administrator James Brennan revived the concept of a race series between Australian and New Zealand standardbreds. He visited all states with a proposal for a championship series, which would rotate between capital cities, and the first Australasian Trotting Championship would follow in Perth in 1925.

The Great Depression intervened and the concept was set aside until 1935, when harness racing delegates from Australia and New Zealand met for the Australasian Trotting Conference. Their support spawned the Inter Dominion championships, beginning in Perth in 1936 and creating Australasian immortals for almost a century. On Saturday December 15 at Victoria’s Tabcorp Park Melton the next chapter will be written.

For more information about the history of Australasia’s
pre-eminent harness racing series click here.


ID18 Series
Feature Events


Welcome Cocktail Party
Thursday, November 29

ID18 Heat 1 - Melton
Saturday, December 1

ID18 Heat 2 - Ballarat
Tuesday, December 4

ID18 Heat 3 - Cranbourne
Saturday, December 8

Breakfast of Champions
& Barrier Draw

Monday, December 10

ID18 Final - Melton
Saturday, December 15