By Duane Ranger
Trainer Grant Dixon says he is delighted with the progress of Listed Wondai’s Mate winner Colt Thirty One ahead of the TAB Queensland Winter Carnival.
Queensland’s reigning Horse of the Year notched career win number 30 when winning the important carnival lead-up at Albion Park on Saturday.
The brilliant four-year-old son of Mach Three, not only won the 1660m mobile by 2.2m, but he did it in 1:54.8 and rated a personal best mile-rate time of 1:51.3.
His previous best was 1:52.9.
Not one to get carried away, Dixon said the Group 1 winning two-year-old and three-year-old was progressing well heading toward some of the features.
“That was a nice run, but we did have the favourable draw (4) to work with. He’s progressing nicely towards the start of next week’s Winter Carnival. I am really happy with him,” he said.
“He is likely to have three more runs (over the next three weeks) before we spell him for his five-year-old career. Then Kevin, Kay (Seymours) and I will talk about his future as an open class pacer.”
Without actually confirming anything Dixon said the New Zealand and Auckland Cups, and inter-State racing next season had to be considered.
“It all depends on our racing calendar and what fits in. How he goes over the next few weeks will also tell us a lot. There will be plenty of Kiwis and inter-State horses here over the next month, which will give us a good gauge as to how he goes against the better opposition,” he said.
“But for now, I’m only looking at one race at a time with him and my next focus is perhaps a 2647m at Albion Park next Saturday.”
Thereafter he said Colt Thirty One would line up in the time-honoured Group One $100,000 Sunshine Sprint on Saturday week, and then on July 20, the entire will line up in Albion Park’s ‘Jewel in the Crown’ – the Group One $250,000 TAB Blacks A Fake.
“Like I said I am very happy with his progress, but the draw was kind to us this time. I don’t like to get too far ahead of myself, so it’s one race at a time for him before any future plans are made,” Dixon said.
“I’ve got some nice young horses, but this fella is definitely the best of the 75-odd I have in work. I’m really looking forward to the Carnival.”
Again, Colt Thirty One had to be good to win on Saturday, despite is microscopic $1.12 win odds.
He sat parked throughout but was too strong for his stablemate, the Seymour owned Ohoka Punter. Rock With Sam was third.
Colt Thirty One’s sectionals were 27.3, 29.6, 27.2, and 27.1. The gifted bay has now banked $138,983 since making his winning debut at ‘The Creek’ on February 21, 2017.
Another standardbred who recorded slick sectionals on Saturday night was the Tim Butt trained and Anthony Butt driven Majestic Courtney n the $13,000 Ultimate Tools June Trotters Cup.
The Majestic Son gelding, who is now unbeaten in two Albion Park starts, smashed Our Overanova’s 2,647m standing start track record set in December 2017 by 3.1 seconds.
But the new record of 3:17.2 (mile rate 1:59.9) was a close fought affair.
“We only just hung on but he trotted well throughout and the other one (Justabit Noisey) ran a big race. I thought I just hung on, but wasn’t entirely sure,” Anthony Butt said immediately after that eighth event.
Majestic Courtney was the $1.70 favourite. The 4-year-old has now won nine of his 14 starts and placed in one other for $50,013 in stakes. His quickest mile rate was set in Saturday’s Trotters Cup.