Day At The Track

Colt Thirty One delivers thirst quenching win!

06:00 AM 26 Oct 2019 NZDT
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Colt Thirty One,Harness racing
Colt Thirty One and Grant Dixon after their Swan Hill victory
Swan Hill HRC photograph

Star Queensland pacer Colt Thirty One sprouted wings over the final stages of the $35,000 Swan Hill Harness Racing Club's Pacing Cup last night to snatch victory - to the delight of drinkers at the bars.

Ace trainer-driver Grant Dixon, who was Australia's leading trainer last year, timed his run to perfection in the long Swan Hill straight to nail Shepparton star San Carlo right on the line.

It was a thrilling finish, and an enthralling race, despite the Group Three feature attracting only a small field of five.

Owned and bred by industry stalwarts Kevin and Kay Seymour, of Solid Earth Pty Ltd, Colt Thirty One (Mach Three-Charm Personified (Perfect Art) was the toast in each of the three on-course bars.

The Seymours promised to shout the bar for an hour after the event if their sensational five-year-old took out the Cup. And more than 175 patrons took up the offer at the club bars!

Chris Alford made his intention known from the outset in the Cup on the Emma Stewart-trained Tam Major. Alford gave his pacer full steam when the gate released and booted through to hold out the $1.80 favorite San Carlo (Bec Bartley).

San Carlo dropped in behind the leader, and when the tempo eased, the five were in single file for a time. Bartley popped out to step up the pressure with a lap and a half to go and Dixon was at the rear of the field seemingly smoking his pipe.

Down the back straight for the final time, Tam Major and San Carlo put the pedal to the metal and the race was on in earnest. The pair were locked together around the home corner, and Dixon had positioned himself perfectly, tracking San Carlo.

Just when it looked like the leaders had it between them, Colt Thirty One gathered momentum, then hit top gear when Dixon released the ear plugs half way down the home straight.

Watch the race click here!

The official margin was a head by 3 metres, in a time of 1:57.5 (for the 2790 metre trip) a second outside Menin Gate's track record. The last half was run in a blistering 55.5 sec.

The Swan Hill victory did no harm at all to Colt Thirty One's Interdominion credentials - he looks primed and ready to take on the Kiwis in November and December.

A winner of 33 of his 48 starts, Dixon plans to give his pacer a couple more runs to keep him "on song" before heading to New Zealand.

"It will most likely be at Melton but I'll have to look at the race programs," he said.

Colt Thirty One is ranked two for the ID19 Auckland Alexandra Park, with the Mark Purdon-Natalie Rasmussen trained Spankem the top seed.

Chris Alford was at his finest with four of the seven winners on the Swan Hill program. He won on Valiant Charger ($1.30 favorite); Ramseys Hope ($4.10); Mass Destruction ($3.30 favorite); and The Storm Inside ($1.04 favorite). The latter trained by Emma Stewart, recorded a new track record for the mile of 1:52.3, slicing more than a second off the previous best.

Hoofnote: There was a bitter-sweet side note to Colt Thirty One's victory, with the news that his dam Charm Personified passed away on Thursday. The mare was sold by the Seymours to David Boydell two years ago. Charm Personified developed complications after giving birth to an American Ideal Colt at Egmont Park Stud. Charm Personified left Charming Allie, Charms on a Roll and Colt Thirty One, as well as a Mr Feelgood youngster, a yearling American Ideal colt and the latest day-old colt.


Terry Gange

NewsAlert PR Mildura

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