By Duane Ranger
Grant Dixon’s biggest and most prestigious win of the 2018-2019 season at Albion Park last Saturday night also brought up a record-equalling all-time Australian harness racing record.
Colt Thirty One’s emphatic 1.7m victory in the Group One $250,000 saw Dixon equal the national training mark of 309 wins set by Emma Stewart last season.
Then after race five at Albion Park yesterday (Tuesday) the 46-year-old set his own new national mark of 310 training victories in a season when he drove True Stepper to win the fifth event.
Stewart had previously snatched the record off Dixon’s father Bill, who trained 299 winners in 2010-2011.
“Wow that crept up on me fast. We have been keeping a fairly close eye on the table, but didn’t realise we actually broke the record today.
“It’s quite an honour and something I am very proud of. I would just like to thank all my staff, especially my wife, Trista, who does a huge amount of work for us at our Tamborine stable. She makes the stable tick. This is a record for her and all of our staff,” Dixon said.
Not too perturbed by numbers and statistics, Dixon did however say he was proud to have finally got to the 300-mark after eight seasons of training solo.
“It’s great to get records etcetera, but all I’m really concerned about is improving on the previous year’s results. Also trying to keep in front of Emma has been a goal, because she is a very good trainer and has a strong team.
“The premiership title is by no means over. We’ve still got more than a month to go and to be honest all my best horses are now spelling or heading to the spelling paddock. Emma usually explodes at this time of the season and will come home strong, so we will have to keep working hard,” Dixon said.
As at mid-day today (Wednesday July 24) Dixon had a 44-win cushion over his Victorian rival. He notched up his 300th winner for the first time behind Sir Jujon at Redcliffe Paceway on July 11.
The triple century was helped on the first night of the TAB Winter Carnival when Dixon drove half the card (five winners).
“It’s been a very good season and one I’m proud of because I know how hard we all worked. Colt Thirty One’s win on Saturday was the undoubted highlight. The Blacks A Fake is not only the richest race in Queensland, but it’s also one of the most prestigious. It’s one well all want.
“That really capped off a great season,” Dixon said.
Dixon, who is poised to win his seventh Australian Training Premiership in eight years, has had a record 2,038 starters to the races this season for 310 winners ($2.66m). He has also placed 507 times.
He has nailed 13 metro wins ($591,314) and 297 Country ($2.06m), and all-up has a very healthy 40.09 strike-rate.
For the record he also sits third on the national driving premiership with 213 wins ($1.3m) – a whopping 161 behind pace-maker, Chris Alford.
Last year was the first time in 11 seasons that Dixon or his father Bill had not won the national training premiership.
Up until last season Dixon had won the previous five national premierships dating back to the 2011-2012 season. His father won the four consecutive training premierships before handing over the reins. Their stats can be read at the bottom of this story.
“I just want to keep churning those winners over. It’s going to be a big year next season because I will have to travel south with Colt Thirty One to compete against the open classers.
“He’s come through Saturday’s race really well and is enjoying his spell.
“But it all comes down to family. They are and always will be my priority. Trista is pregnant with our third child. We already have Thomas and Jai and they mean the world to me. Happy times ahead,” Dixon said.
“I am nothing without family,” he stressed.
Dixon is currently work about 70 horses and has a staff of 12.
The Dixon stats read:
GRANT DIXON (as at Wednesday July 24, mid-day):
2019: Currently first - 310 wins ($2.6m) – 44 more than Victoria's Emma Stewart.
2018: 291 ($2.4m) - second behind Emma Stewart’s record-breaking 309 wins ($2.88m).
2017: 286 ($1.7m) first.
2016: 245 ($1.7m) first.
2015: 282 ($2.3m) first.
2014: 260 ($2.0m) first.
2013: 226 ($2.1m) first.
2012: 265 ($1.1m) first.
2011: 299 ($1.8m) first.
2010: 264 ($0.5m) first.
2009: 242 ($1.6m) first.
2008: 243 ($1.4m) first.
The Dixons’ racing numbers have steadily increased over the years from 1,146 starters from Bill Dixon in 2007-2008 to the 2,038 starters that his son has lined up this season - compared to the 1,630 when he went out on his own in 2011-2012.