Day At The Track

Big guns look to Miracle Mile

05:58 PM 04 Feb 2021 NZDT
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Colt Thirty One, Harness racing
Colt Thirty One
Dan Costello photo

Two of Queensland’s top pacers will use Saturday’s Albion Park meeting as a potential stepping stone towards the famous Miracle Mile next month.

Queensland Harness Horse of the Year nominee Colt Thirty One will be back from a quick freshen up to take on rival Turn It Up over 1660m in a marquee match-up.

The star pair are likely to be heading to NSW for the $1 million Miracle Mile at Menangle on the first Saturday of March following Saturday’s race.

Trainer Vicki Rasmussen confirmed Turn It Up would certainly be heading south following Saturday while Grant Dixon - trainer and driver of Colt Thirty One - was leaning that way, as well.

The reigning Horse of the Year in the Sunshine State, Colt Thirty One, has had a short break from racing since the middle of December last year ahead of his return to the racetrack.

“We might get two runs into him or at least one,” Dixon said of his plans ahead of the Miracle Mile.

“It is going to be a really hard race and he will need to be on top of his game to go.

“He will have to be going particularly well to warrant going down.”

Colt Thirty One is edging closer to the special $1 million milestone in stakes across his career with another victory on Saturday evening putting him within touching distance.

From his 46 wins, the six-year-old has won $988,831 with another $8,544 going into the kitty if he can get the cash on Saturday.

One of Australia's leading harness racing trainer’s, Dixon, thinks Turn It Up, who won well at the track a fortnight ago, will be tough to get past come Saturday.

“Turn It Up is a really good horse, he has drawn a little awkward, but he definitely will be the one to beat,” Dixon said.

The Newcastle Mile, to be held on Friday February 19, will be Turn It Up’s next assignment ahead of the Miracle Mile.

“I think he is definitely up to them at his best,” Rasmussen said.

“We have had a couple of small issues with him and it will be a very hard race.

“But you have to be in it to win it.”

A winner of 13 races from just 20 career starts, Rasmussen is pleased with the way Turn It Up is going.

“We are really happy with him, he seems very well, and we have been very happy with his trial and last run,” Rasmussen said.

“As long as he goes good and we are happy with the way he pulls up from this run, he will be heading down south regardless of if he wins this week or not.”

Colt Thirty One and Turn It Up filled the minor placings behind King of Swing in the Group 1 TAB Blacks A Fake  last year and Rasmussen thinks her pacer will have a tough task on his hands trying to defeat Colt Thirty One this Saturday.

Dan-Costello-Harness-Images-Turn-it-Up-2.jpg

“Colt Thirty One is a really good horse and will be hard to beat, I think he will be in front of him,” Rasmussen said.

“He will be incredibly hard to beat.

“It will all just depend on how the race is run and where he ends up.”

Colt Thirty One is considered a strong chance to claim a hat-trick of triumphs for Horse of the Year at the upcoming 2020 TAB Queensland Harness Awards later this month.

He had 34 starts last season for 14 wins, 13 placings and $276,849 in prize money.

 

Jordan Gerrans

for Racing Queensland

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