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Victoria Cup and possible name change for Queensland Horse-of-the-Year

By Duane Ranger

Back-to-back Queensland Harness-Horse-of-the-Year, Colt Thirty One, is likely to line up in next month’s Victoria Cup, and then all going well could be on a plane to Auckland for the Inter Dominions.

The brilliant 5-year-old son of Mach Three won four awards at the annual function at the Moda Events Portside last night (Sunday).

As well as the coveted award, Colt Thirty One, also nailed the Pacer-of-the-Year, the Aged Pacer-of-the-Year, and the Albion Park Pacer-of-the-Year titles.

“I’m delighted with all three awards. It is a huge honour for Trista (wife), myself, my family and of course our hard-working staff. He’s the best horse I have trained and driven since I went out on my own in 2011-12,” Dixon said.

“I also want to thank all of our loyal owners and breeders. There would be no racing without them,” he added

Dixon said Colt Thirty One won his first trial back this campaign at Albion Park last Tuesday (September 24). He won that 1,660m mobile by four metres with a 1:55.1 mile rate    

Dixon said he was now targeting the Group One $250,000 Victoria Cup at Melton’s Tabcorp Park on Saturday October 12.

“That is the aim at the moment. He seems well enough, and we knew a while ago that his 5-year-old season would mean a bit of travel for him.

“He won’t be going to New Zealand for the New Zealand Cup (November 12), but he is nominated for the Inter Dominions. That depends on how he goes in Melbourne. We will monitor his progress from there,” Dixon said.

The 2019 Inter Dominion Championship at Alexandra Park, in Auckland, will run from November 29 to December 14.

And in a surprise move last night, Colt Thirty One’s co-owner, Kevin Seymour, announced that his pride and joy could race under a new name this season.

“We will be applying to have his name changed to ‘Im A Queenslander’. That would be very appropriate because he was born, trained and races out of the Sunshine State.

“I think it is a very appropriate name considering he has done Queensland very proud. Winning last season’s Group One ($250,0000) Blacks A Fake Pace was the highlight," Seymour said.

Colt Thirty One raced 17 times last season for 13 wins and three placings. He banked $320,338 in purses. He also set his quickest mile of 1:51.3 when winning the Listed Classic Wondais Mate Open.

In a career spanning back to February 2017, Colt Thirty One, has now raced 46 times for 32 wins and nine placings. His stake earnings currently sit at $711,982.

It was a great night for the connections of Colt Thirty One. In fact, to say they cleaned up is somewhat of an understatement.

The Seymours also won Queensland Owner-of-the-Year, Queensland Breeder-of-the-Year, Albion Park Owner-of-the-Year, and Queensland Aged Pacer-of-the-Year (Colt Thirty One).

The couple also sponsored the monthly (12) Queensland Young Achievers awards.

If you thought that was good, Dixon would have needed a van to take his trophies home.

To go with Horse-of-the-Year, and Pacer-of-the-Year, the 46-year-old Tamborine horseman also collected the nation-wide award for Australia’s top trainer with a record 340 wins; Trainer-of-the-Year; Driver-of-the-Year; the Albion Park Horse-of-the-Year (Colt Thirty One); the Redcliffe Drivers & Trainers Premierships; and Queensland Aged Pacer-of-the-Year (Colt Thirty One).

Dixon also claimed the Trotter-of-the-Year award with Our Overanova.

That 10-year-old Monarchy gelding won eight of his 29 starts last season, and also placed 19 times for $70,685. All-up he’s won 56 of his 155 starts and $442,793 in purses.

“He’s a grand old trotter, who lined up in the last race on most Saturday night’s at Albion Park. He had some great battles with Empire Bay, and even at 10 is by no means a spent force yet.

“It is a thrill to win this award because he always gives his best, even from long marks,” Dixon said.

But the highlight of 2019 is still to come for Dixon - late next month.

“Trista and I are expecting a little boy in late November. We are all looking forward to that very much. It will put racing into perspective somewhat,” Australia’s top horseman said.