All is in readiness for exciting three-year-old Colt Thirty One.
The Queensland trained pacer has arrived safely in the Garden State in preparation for his heat of the VHRSC Victoria Derby at Bray Raceway, Ballarat this Saturday night.
Unbeaten in three starts this campaign, the Grant Dixon prepared youngster is no stranger to Victoria after competing successfully during the Australasian Breeders Crown series last season.
Colt Thirty One was placed in the Gr.1 feature behind King Of Swing and Poster Boy back in August.
Now, he returns in search of a blue riband classic.
“He arrived early hours today (Tuesday) and handled the flight really well and settled in immediately, it’s pleasing knowing that he’s comfortable with the change in routine and surroundings.” Dixon said.
Widely regarded as the most coveted piece of silverware for sophomore pacers, generally, it brings the best of the best together from all parts of the southern hemisphere.
And 2018 is no exception.
The host state boasts enormous depth headlined by the likes of the unbeaten Lumineer while ably assisted by the likes Poster Boy, Konan, Higherthananeagle, Code Bailey, The Brooklyn Brawler, Yankee Roller, Tam Major, That’s Perfect, Little Peanut and Maraetai.
New Zealand representation comes via the All Stars stable of Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen with the highly regarded pair of The Devils Own and Spankem.
Obvious omissions include Ignatius, Jack Mac and Chase Auckland.
But Dixon is confident his prized pacer will compete with the best on offer and was more than happy after learning he will start from gate two in the opening heat.
“It’s a good start, we didn’t enjoy the best of luck with the draws during our last trip but this now gives us plenty of options.
“Obviously Poster Boy is the hardest to beat and we’ve met him previously and are fully aware of his capabilities so it won’t be a stroll in the park by any means while The Devils Own warrants strong respect.
“I’m happy with the way he’s come up this campaign and his latest victory was very encouraging, it was a solid come from behind effort over the longer journey which bodes well for this series.”
The Mach Three colt boasts 10 wins from 14 starts and is raced by his breeders, Kevin and Kay Seymour.
Chris Barsby | RQ Web News | January 16 | Photo by Dan Costello