Colt Thirty One set to make racing return in Saturday’s Group 2 Redcliffe Cup

Winning a staggering three successive Queensland Horse of the Year titles doesn’t get you any free tickets.

Just ask Grant Dixon with his stable star Colt Thirty One, who returns for what looms as his most daunting home state campaign when he tackles Saturday night’s Group 2 Redcliffe Cup.

Dixon opted to bypass a return last week when he learned dual Miracle Mile winner King Of Swing and former Kiwi superstar Spankem would tackle the Lucky Creed.

“I thought a few of the big names wouldn’t go to Redcliffe and I’m right, but it’s still going to be a tough ask to win,” Dixon said.

“We’re off a 20m handicap and if L L Cool J steps away well from the stand, it’s his race to lose. The times he can run up front will make it almost impossible for us.

“I’ve got to hope he’s not well away and we get a chance to get into the action.”

Colt Thirty One, who boasts 46 wins from 81 starts, can top $1m in stakemoney if he wins at Redcliffe.

As big a test as this week is, life will only get harder as the pin-up pacers gets deeper into the TAB Constellations Carnival.

“He seems to have come back well, although he never works the place down at home, so it’s a bit hard to tell until we get him to the races,” Dixon said.

“He’s getting a bit older now, so he’ll improve on whatever he does this week and he’ll need to … the depth will be very strong in those big races over the next month or so.”

Colt Thirty One has won the Queensland Horse of the Year title three years in a row. Picture: Dan CostelloSource:Supplied

Dixon will decide after Redcliffe whether to back Colt Thirty One up in the Wondais Mate against the likes of King Of Swing, Spankem, Copy That, Turn It Up and others on Saturday week.

Then comes the $100,000 Group 1 Sunshine Sprint on July 17 and the $250,000 TAB Blacks A Fake a week later.

Back to Redcliffe and Dixon thinks his two major chances, Lady Avana (gate one) and Jasper (seven), can seriously test or even upset hot favourite Sporty Dancer in the Oaks.

“I’ll stick with Jasper (to drive), but I can’t really split her and Lady Avana as our best hope. They both should get got runs on the pegs (inside) from their draws and that’s a huge advantage around Redcliffe,” he said.

In other news, Kiwi star Copy That will sharpen-up for return to racing with an Albion Park trial tomorrow (Friday).

“He’s going there for a pretty strong hitout, not to break records, but I want him finishing it off really strongly,” trainer Ray Green said.

Champion driver Anthony Butt will travel up from Victoria to drive Copy That and stay to partner NZ’s top young pacer, Krug, in the Redcliffe Derby on Saturday night.

Originally published asColt Thirty One gearing up for carnival challenge

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