Day At The Track

Colt Thirty One claims home state Gr1

07:59 AM 21 Jul 2019 NZST
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Colt Thirty One,Harness racing
Colt Thirty One
Dan Costello photo

The 2018/19 Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit came to a dramatic finale at Albion Park in Brisbane tonight (Saturday) with local hero Colt Thirty One storming to victory in the Gr.1 $250,000 TAB Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship.

Trained and driven by Grant Dixon, Colt Thirty One ($4.60) sat off a hot pace before thundering down the outside to defeat Alta Orlando ($26) and Letsspendanitetogetha ($51) in the 2680m mobile start feature.

Colt Thirty One created a new track record when recording a winning mile rate of 1:53.7 – easily eclipsing the previous mark of 1:54.8 set last year by Let It Ride.

Win, lose or draw the title of Grand Circuit champion was safely in the keeping of Tiger Tara but that didn’t stop the double millionaire attempting to put an exclamation mark against his dream season.

Triumphant in the Inter Dominion Grand Final, Victoria and Hunter Cups, the Kevin Pizzuto trained star was installed as favourite for the Brisbane feature despite a second-line draw but faced stiff opposition from a number of in-form rivals.

With Our Uncle Sam, Cash N Flow and Ohoka Punter all leaving the gate with urgency, it was Ohoka Punter who owned the best gate speed as he cleared from his wide draw which left Our Uncle Sam without cover while Cash N Flow landed the position on the back of the leader.

Dixon sat patiently towards the rear of the field and allowed Colt Thirty One to find his rhythm while the early jostling continued at a frantic pace.

The lead time was covered in 75.5 seconds.

Ohoka Punter led the way from Our Uncle Sam while Tiger Tara made his move passing the 1800m marker and really forced the pressure.

The first half of the final mile was covered in 27.3 and 29.3 seconds.

Entering the back straight, Ohoka Punter led the way with Tiger Tara drawing closer on his outside while many rivals started to feel the pinch.

Cash N Flow raced roughly mid-way down the back straight and gave ground quickly which checked a number of runners including Northview Hustler.

The third quarter was covered in 28.6 seconds.

At the top of the home straight, Tiger Tara raced to a narrow lead while Watch Pulp Fiction loomed to his outside quickly before Colt Thirty One and Alta Orlando began to charge.

Colt Thirty One held Alta Orlando while Letsspendanitetogetha bobbed for third just in front of Watch Pulp Fiction, Alleluia and Tiger Tara.

The winning margin was 1.7 over Alta Orlando while there was a further 7.1m back to Letsspendanitetogetha in third.

The final quarter was timed in 28.7 seconds.

An official protest was lodged by driver Anthony Butt (Alta Orlando) against the winner for alleged interference over the concluding stages but was ultimately dismissed.

“The speed was strong throughout which gave us an opportunity to work into it over the latter stages, he was solid in the straight and did it nicely.” Dixon said.

The victory provided Dixon with his maiden Grand Circuit victory.

Bred and raced by Kevin and Kay Seymour, the Mach Three – Charm Personified four-year-old registered his 32nd victory from 46 starts while his earnings now exceed $711,000.

Colt Thirty One has now won three Gr.1 events to date.

The 2018/19 Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit season is now complete with Tiger Tara the official Grand Circuit champion after amassing 375 points for the term.

Tiger Tara finished well clear of Thefixer (164) and Our Uncle Sam (121).

 

Chris Barsby

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