By Duane Ranger
Colt Thirty One must have walked under a couple of ladders, or had several blacks cats run out in front of him while he’s been staying at John Green’s Ardmore farm in South Auckland.
Bad luck has ensured the two-time Queensland Horse-of-the-Year can not qualify for the $500,000 Inter Dominion Grand Final at Alexandra Park on December 14.
His owner and breeder, Kevin Seymour, said Colt Thirty One would remain in Auckland for this Friday’s heat, and then contest the $50,000 Consolation Final on Saturday week.
That will mean he will bypass the last night of the Queensland Summer Carnival, and not take his part in the Group $50,000 Queensland Cup on December 21.
“He will return home on or about December 21. Kay and I have been very disappointed with his runs in New Zealand.
“On each occasion the driver was a victim of circumstances, and we know the horse is much better than that,” Seymour said.
That is an understatement.
In his first heat (where he drew the outside of the front-line, Colt Thirty settled back and then recorded quicker 400m and 800m sectionals than the New Zealand record-breaking winner, Ultimate Sniper.
Then on Tuesday he drew five, and as much as trainer/driver Grant Dixon, wanted to push forward for a prominent position, he just couldn’t get across, and was left three-wide the trip.
Colt Thirty One has accumulated just six points compared to the unbeaten heat winners, Ultimate Sniper and A Gs White Socks, who have 34 apiece.
Colt Thirty One, has drawn favourably at two for the third round of 2700m mobile heats at 5.24pm (Queensland time) tomorrow. He’s an $11 fourth favourite to win the heat.
However, the tough Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen trained duo of Chase Auckland has drawn one ($4.80) and Ultimate Sniper 11 ($1.40).
Ultimate Sniper is the $2 favourite to win the Championship outright. The best of the Australian chances is $11 sixth favourite, Bling It On.
Marcoola and Majestic Man are loose $3.50 joint favourites to win the Trotters Grand Final. The best of the Aussies is Tough Monarch, who is the $15 eighth favourite.
Meanwhile, Queensland’s only representative in the 2019 Kidz Kartz Mini Trot Championship, also at Alexandra Park, will also be contesting the Consolation Final tomorrow night.
In fact, none of the four Australians in the Series made the Final.
Despite not making that 800m Grand Final Queensland’s, Layne Dwyer, was in great spirits.
“I’ve enjoyed it here. The hosts have looked after us well. It’s a bit different racing this way (clockwise) around. I think I prefer the racing back home. I’ve learnt quite a bit though,” young Dwyer said.
Driving his borrowed Kiwi pony named Betsy Boo, the 12-year-old was disqualified for galloping in his first heat and then finished seventh and fifth.
He will drive Betsy Boo from barrier four in the 600m Consolation. There will be 13 starters.
Dwyer said he and his family would return home the following day (this Saturday).
“I have been proud wearing the maroon colours of Queensland over here. I hope I can drive in next year’s Inter Dominions as well.
“I still want to be a driver one day and drive like ‘Leader Peter’ (Peter McMullen). He’s my favourite. I gave him his nickname and he likes it,” said Dwyer, who was one of the youngest drivers at Alexandra Park.