By Adam Hamilton
TOP Queensland horseman Grant Dixon is acutely aware D-Day has come early for Colt Thirty One in the Auckland Inter Dominion.
A wide draw and luckless opening night ninth placing has put Dixon and his stable star in a precarious position.
“I’d say we need at least a top four finish on Tuesday to stay on contention for the final,” he said. “I was happy with his run Friday. His times were good and he hit the line well, it’s just a shame he only ran ninth and didn’t get many points.
“I’ve watched the replay and I’m not sure what I could’ve done differently, except him take him out wider from longer. It was hard in a 13-horse field from his wide draw.”
Dixon, who returned home to drive at Albion Park last night (Saturday), said Colt Thirty One came through his opening night run in good fashion.
“His heart rate was good, he ate up well and Dale (Hogan) said he’s seemed really bright since,” he said.
“We’ve backed him up quickly before and he’s thrived on it, so I’m sure he’ll run well (Tuesday).”
Dixon knows he simply has to push forward from gate five on Tuesday.
“It’s a must. I have to put him in the firing line and hope he can finish in the top four,” he said.
“He’ll love the longer trip in the last round of heats, but we have to get enough points (Tuesday) to keep our hopes alive of making the final.”