Talk about bragging rights.
Young Thomas Dixon will head back to school on Monday with a cheesy grin and prized trophy for his show and tell display after chaperoning his dad to Melbourne tonight (Saturday).
The five-year-old joined his father Grant, the leading harness trainer in the country since the 2011/12 season, to watch him compete in the Gr.1 $200,000 VHRSC Victoria Derby at TABCORP Park, Melton.
And the Queensland trio landed the prize with Colt Thirty One running down Poster Boy and The Devils Own in the 2240m Blue Riband classic.
Despite being less than four foot tall, Thomas stood tall like a giant when his dad returned to the winner’s enclosure.
“Thomas might have to make a few more trips away when we’re competing in the big races, he might be the lucky charm.” Grant Dixon beamed immediately after the race.
In a role reversal from the previous week in the heat at Ballarat, Colt Thirty One was beaten as a short priced favourite behind Poster Boy despite running a 26.6 second closing split after leading.
The Mach Three colt was friendless in the betting after landing an awkward second-line draw while all the pre-race focus centered on the previously unbeaten Lumineer who started from gate six.
But this week, he took on the role of hunter and not the hunted.
Driven patiently back in the field and aided by a genuine speed throughout, Dixon bided his time before angling deeper off the track passing the 400m mark and then unleashing a furious closing sectional.
The mile rate of 1:54.2 created a new race record, eclipsing the previous mark held by Lazarus set back in 2016.
The final mile was covered in splits of 29.7, 30.6, 27.9 and 27.7 seconds.
“I couldn’t be happier with him; he thrived on the fast speed and finished off really well. I didn’t think we’d run down Poster Boy but he proved his class,” Dixon said. “The NSW Derby will be his next target before returning home to Brisbane.”
The Gr.1 $200,000 New South Wales Derby is scheduled for February 24 and could boast more depth with the likes of Ignatius, Jack Mac and All U Need Is Faith all being considered raiders by their respective connections.
Colt Thirty One becomes the first Queensland prepared pacer to win the Victoria Derby, an event first staged back in 1914.
Bred and raced by leviathan couple, Kevin and Kay Seymour, the generous benefactors elected to remain in Brisbane and watch via SKY Channel rather than being trackside.
Good thing Thomas Dixon was on hand to lead the cheer squad, cheering loudly and wildly for his triumphant father and his dual Gr.1 winning colt.
That’s what five-year-old’s do, right.
Chris Barsby | RQ Web News | January 27 | Photo by Ashlea Brennan Photography