The trio of Queensland pacers who ventured south chasing the big riches on offer has achieved their first target.
Qualifying for the big dance next week.
The Grant Dixon trained duo of Colt Thirty One and Red Charmer have made their way into their respective three-year-old finals while rookie filly Betamerica also stamped her ticket for two-year-old fillies final after competing in semi-finals at Bendigo.
Pitted against some of the best talent spread throughout Australasia, each performed with distinction and will rightfully take their place in next week’s finals.
The finals will be staged at TABCORP Park, Melton next Saturday.
Colt Thirty One, starting as the $3 favourite, finished a close-up 5th behind the Emma Stewart trained quartet of Ride High, Konan, Major Times and Tam Major in a time of 1:56.3 for the 2150m event.
The time was significantly slower in comparison to the other semi-final won by Poster Boy (Emma Stewart) who ran down race favourite Ignatius in a time of 1:54.2.
In the final, Colt Thirty One will start from the coveted inside draw.
Last season, Colt Thirty One finished third in the final behind King Of Swing and Poster Boy.
Red Charmer finished a tidy 4th after having little racing room over the concluding stages in the semi-final taken out by Pistol Abbey (Emma Stewart).
The time was 1:56.7 – slower than Speak No Evil (Emma Stewart) who rated 1:55.2.
Red Charmer has drawn gate six in the final.
The Gr.1 3yo Finals carry prizemoney of $195,000.
Betamerica, having her first start for new trainer Jess Tubbs, finished a handy 4th behind Miss Streisand in a time of 1:58.4.
In the other semi-final, unbeaten New Zealand star Our Princess Tiffany rated 1:59.1
The American Ideal filly is still raced by Raboki Pty Ltd, Shannon Price and Scott Miller.
Betamerica will start from gate 9 in the $290,000 Final.
** Emma Stewart trained 6 winners throughout the program last night (Saturday).