Reigning Queensland Horse of the Year Colt Thirty One made a triumphant return to Albion Park last night (Saturday).
Starting at prohibitive odds in the Gotta Go Cullect @ Egmont Park Stud Pace, the Mach Three entire quickly circled the field from his second-line draw before controlling the race outside the leader Our Major Day.
The brilliant four-year-old quickly gained the upper hand soon after straightening and drew clear from a game Our Major Day while Top Flight Cruize filled third placing.
The winning mile rate for the 2138m event was 1:57.2 while covering the final half in 55.6 seconds.
The victory took his earning past $400,000.
It was the first full metropolitan meeting staged at Albion Park since September 22 after the track underwent major remediation works following a spate of cancellations owing to poor weather.
The Grant Dixon prepared pacer was having his first start since finishing second behind Ride High in the Gr.1 $195,000 Breeders Crown Final at TABCORP Park, Melton on August 25.
And without the benefit of a public trial.
“Obviously we couldn’t trial him at Albion Park in preparation for his return but we have plenty of handy types that can make him stretch out at home, I was really happy with where he was at prior to his return and he didn’t disappoint and felt like his normal self.” Dixon said.
The Queensland summer carnival over the next three weeks has been added to his program as they build towards their main target, the Gr.1 $200,000 Chariots of Fire at TABCORP Park, Menangle on February 16.
“We’re definitely going to have a look at some these local features in the coming weeks, he won’t start in all of them but he will be tested at some point against the open class performers.
“He’s destined for open class and this looks the right opportunity to dip his toe in the water, it fits his schedule nicely.”
The Gr.3 $30,660 Be Good Johnny Sprints kicks off the carnival on December 1 followed by the $20,660 Christmas Cup (December 8) and then the Gr.2 $50,660 Queensland Cup (December 15).
The trio of open class features will be raced over the distances of 1660m, 2680m and 2138m.
With the return of racing to headquarters, Dixon enjoyed a great night preparing five winners.
His haul included Eleniark, Fioki, Colt Thirty One, Alleluia and Our Overanova.
It is the 10th time he has achieved the feat.
And it’s the 7th time he’s achieved it at Albion Park.
The previous occasion came earlier this year when preparing five winners on May 12.
Chris Barsby | RQ Web News | November 25