Colt's gun Victoria Cup draw
By Adam Hamilton
THE stakes are much higher than $250,000 stakemoney in this Victoria Cup for emerging star Colt Thirty One.
Trainer-driver Grant Dixon has declared the first open-class Group 1 feature of the season will shape whether Colt Thirty One heads to the Auckland Inter Dominion.
“We’ve changed our minds on Auckland and have it pencilled in. It’s fair to say what he does this weekend will go a long way to deciding if we keep heading towards the Inter Dominion,” Dixon said.
“Kevin (Seymour, owner) was originally keen on targeting the Miracle Mile, but we’ve talked and he’s certainly open to the Inter Dominion if I feel that’s a good option.”
Colt Thirty One, who burst into the open-class big league winning the Group 1 Blacks A Fake at Albion Park in late July, is a $3.50 favourite to add Saturday night’s Victoria Cup after drawing the pole.
“The draw is a big help, for sure,” Dixon said. “Now we’ve got that balancing act of wanting to make sure we take advantage of it, but without ruining our chances by going too hard.
“The only time we’ve really burned him off the gate was that Sunshine Sprint and gee he got out quick, so he’s got the speed if we want to really use it.”
Dixon is not fazed by going into such a strong race just second-up from a break.
“No, he’s very fit. He looks great and his heart rate is where we want it after his work,” he said. “He didn’t have a spell as such, just three weeks out after the Blacks A Fake. He’s done plenty of work.
“We think he’s good enough in a really group of open-class horses to be in these races. It’s a bit like whoever gets the best run, will probably get the chocolates with this group of horses.”
Asked for one main danger, Dixon said: “Most of them are good enough to win, but Bling It On is proven in these types of races and is drawn to get a cold sit, which we know really suits him.”