Colt continues Auckland build-up
By Adam Hamilton
EMERGING star Colt Thirty One is one Australia’s best Auckland Inter Dominion chances, but he’s unlikely to win his next lead-up race at Melton tomorrow (Saturday) night.
A wide draw and the return to racing of the hugely-hyped Ride High sees Colt Thirty One as a $6.50 shot in the $50,000 Group 2 4&5YO Championship (2240m).
That’s despite Colt Thirty One having already won the Group 1 Blacks A Fake and run a terrific second in the Group 1 Victoria Cup this year.
Grant Dixon’s five-year-old was also a last-start winner, beating San Carlo, in the Swan Hill Cup.
But he’s expected to find it very hard from the outside draw (gate seven) to beat Ride High (gate two) and even that horse’s talented stable, Tam Major (six).
Despite not having raced for 16 months, Ride High was crunched from $1.45 into $1.28 as soon as the Aussie TAB opened betting.
Ride High went amiss after winning the Breeders Crown 3YO final in August, last year, where he left the likes of Poster Boy (a subsequent Chariots Of Fire winner and Miracle Mile placegetter) and Colt Thirty One in his wake. Tam Major ran a distant 10th in that race.
Any queries about Ride High’s readiness for a racetrack return were quashed when he blazed over Melton’s 2240m trip together last Saturday night. Their 1min52.4sec mile rate unofficially equalled Lennytheshark’s track record.
“He’s very fit. We’ve had him ready for a while and that workout last week topped him right off,” trainer Clayton Tonkin said.
It speaks volumes for the opinion Tonkin has of Ride High as he’s renewed his own person training licence so the five-year-old can race in his name now.