Grant Dixon is bracing himself for a battle.
A battle of a different kind – trying to convince owners Kevin and Kay Seymour to head south with emerging star Alberto Contador rather than staying put and tackling their home state feature.
The two events in question are the Gr.1 $200,000 Queensland Pacing Championship at Albion Park and the Gr.2 $70,000 Kilmore Pacing Cup.
The Queensland feature is scheduled for October 26 with the Kilmore Cup scheduled some twenty-four hours later leaving connections in a quandary.
“I believe the Kilmore Cup is a better option for him at this stage of his career rather than diving straight into the deep end with Grand Circuit performers but the decision ultimately sits with Kevin and Kay.” Dixon said.
Alberto Contador has been a revelation since crossing the Tasman earlier this year winning 9 of his 11 starts including the Gr.2 $50,000 Gold Coast Premiers Cup and the Gr.3 $30,000 Patrons Purse at Redcliffe.
The Bettors Delight gelding has also picked up a $20,000 Rising Stars Championship and the $16,000 End of Season Championship at Albion Park while being placed in the Gr.3 $45,000 4yo Championship behind Emperor Montana and Only The Brave.
“He’s done a terrific job since joining the team; every time we raised the bar with him he handled himself perfectly and he’s capable of taking the next step.
Kilmore has more appeal because of the conditions rather than the local feature, the stand-start conditions and long journey really suit him and he proved that when successful in the Premiers Cup during the winter carnival.
He’s a very good stayer and steps well and I would imagine he would be off the front line in the Kilmore Cup given his assessment so he could really make a race of it with Bitobliss who will be giving us a tidy head start. It’s a more of natural progression for him I believe.”
Dixon is also looking at campaigning Alberto Contador in Sydney during November when he takes a team south.
“There are some nice races for him down there around Miracle Mile time worth some very good prizemoney so it’s another option for us.
The big track and hard style of racing should suit him well so it’s something that Kevin and Kay are looking at seriously.”
Alberto Contador is back in full work after having a brief ease-up following his latest victory at Albion Park on August 24.
by Chris Barsby (Courtesy of Harness Racing Australia)