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MacDonald To Drive Down Under

Published: September 26, 2017 10:37 am ET

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Two of North America’s rising stars will be coming to Perth to compete in an International Invitation Drivers series at Gloucester Park during the TABtouch Inter Dominion series.

The recently-crowned world driving championship champion James MacDonald and the United States’ representative, Marcus Miller, who finished third in the WDC, will take on Australasia’s best over two nights; the third night of Inter Dominion heats (Friday, December 1) and Grand Final night a week later (Friday, December 8).

The International Invitation Drivers Series is sponsored by Sky Racing, which is importing more North American racing every year, longtime Gloucester Park Harness Racing (GPHR) supporter Slater Gartrell Sports and Harness Racing Australia.

Just over a month ago, MacDonald won the world title on home soil, as he defeated the likes of Mark Purdon and Dexter Dunn of New Zealand and Australia’s Shane Graham. Dubbed ‘Captain Canada,’ MacDonald, at only 31 years of age, has won over 1,700 career races and has driven his mounts to over $22.5 million in purse earnings.

A modest MacDonald said after winning the world title that, “Obviously it’s a big accomplishment. I’m really proud of it, but I know I still need to get better, I still need to keep working hard if I want to be one of the best.”

Regarding his trip down under, MacDonald says, “I am really looking forward to visiting Australia.”

“I’ve wanted to go there since I was a kid and to be able to go there and do what I love will be amazing. I’m excited to see how horse racing differs from here in North America”


James MacDonald, pictured at the Charlottetown Driving Park during the 2017 WDC (Suomen Hippos / Ilkka Nisula)

Miller, who is from a famous American harness racing family, has made a name for himself in a relatively short career, as he has won over 2,800 races and has driven his mounts to almost $30 million in purses. Miller’s invitation has come via the recommendation of the greatest harness driver of all-time, John Campbell, who recently retired with 10,668 wins. Over the course of his career, Campbell steered his mounts to a staggering $299,899,141 in purse earnings.

“Marcus Miller is a very talented young driver and a rising star in our industry, and, even more important, he is a fine young man. I know everyone in Australia will be impressed with his driving skills, horsemanship and how he conducts himself,” said Campbell.

Miller is excited to take up the challenge of driving against Australasia’s best.

“After getting to know a bunch of guys from Australia and New Zealand during the World Drivers Championship, I have been hoping to get a chance to come down there and race,” said Miller

“I am so excited and honoured that this opportunity came this quickly and is during such a big week as the Inter Dominion Grand Final,” said Miller

“Even my parents are planning on coming and making a holiday of it and seeing other parts of Western Australia and Australia,” Miller added

Miller’s father, Erv, is ranked third on the all-time winners list for trainers, as his stable has prepared 5,062 horses for victory. Performers from his stable have raced to more than $77.4 million in purse earnings.

GPHR Committee and management are excited to once again host an International Drivers Series in conjunction with the TABtouch Inter Dominion.

“It’s great to have been able to attract the calibre of drivers such as James and Marcus,” said GPHR Chief Executive Michael Radley.

“It was a wonderful part of the series when Tim Tetrick drove here in 2015 and Tim has since been a such a great ambassador for Australian racing back in the US.

“I would like to thank our sponsors, Sky Racing, Slater Gartrell and HRA for their support, as without it we couldn’t have these international promotions for our great sport.”

The TABtouch Inter Dominion will commence with the first set of heats on Friday, November 24 before travelling to Bunbury for the second night of heats on Tuesday, November 28. The third set of heats will take place at Gloucester Park on Friday, December 1. The $1.1-million Grand Final will be conducted on Friday, December 8.

Interstate and International visitors can witness all the action of the 2017 TABtouch Inter Dominion through official tour operator, Harness Racing Travelworld. This year’s tour will be based at beautiful and historic Fremantle for the first five nights, followed by a two-night tour to the Margaret River region, where some of the best food and wine in the world is produced. It will also include premium restaurant bookings for the heats and Grand Final at Gloucester Park. To book, free-call 1-800-628-383 or visit the website harnessracingtravel.com.

(Gloucester Park)


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