Aussie pair on target for NZ
By Adam Hamilton
COLT Thirty One snatched the prize, but San Carlo was massive in defeat in last night’s Group 3 Swan Hill Cup.
The race might have been run almost 350kms and a four-hour drive from Melbourne, but it delivered everything it promised and more.
And it showed both Colt Thirty One and San Carlo will be serious players when they cross the Tasman.
San Carlo heads across first to chase the NZ Cup before pushing on to Auckland for the Inter Dominion. Colt Thirty One will head across later just to target Auckland.
Just as he did when a monstrous fourth in the Victoria Cup, San Carlo again did all the work outside the leader in slick times at Swan Hill – and went down fighting so hard by just a head in a 1min57.5sec mile rate for 2760m.
It was San Carlo doing all the work outside Emma Stewart’s emerging star Tam Major, who led, through a scorching 26.8sec split down the back straight.
Colt Thirty One sat last in the five-horse field and trainer-driver Grant Dixon got through to the one-one in the last lap then waited as long as he could, stalking San Carlo, before launching at the 100m.
Colt Thirty One ducked in and took a while to gather momentum, but arrived just in time.
Owner-breeder Kevin Seymour delivered on a pre-race promise to “shout the bar” at Swan Hill’s track for an hour after the race.
“Gareth Hall talked me into it on his (Melbourne) radio show,” Seymour laughed. “I emailed the club, told them I’d do it, and for them to send me the bill on Monday.”
San Carlo now heads straight to the NZ Cup, while Dixon will weigh-up his options for the best pathway to Auckland with Colt Thirty One.