By Duane Ranger
Fast, furious, and all over in just over a minute… and Australasia racing philanthropist, and top Queensland horseman, Daren Garrard, loves the idea.
The Burpengary East trainer said he supported the Trot Rods Series, which kicks off at 7.51pm (race 6) at Redcliffe Paceway tonight (Wednesday).
Garrard will line up last Saturday night’s Albion Park winner, Bumper.
“Racing Queensland and Redcliffe Harness Racing Club need to be applauded for the concept.
“I’m always pro trying something new or different. If I’ve got a good sprinter, who is ready to race, I’ll line him or her up,” Garrard said.
Staged over nine weeks, the new initiative will see pacers race over 947 metres – one of the shortest harness racing distances across the globe.
A $10,000 cash bonus will be paid for the quickest lap throughout the promotion.
Redcliffe Paceway will host weekly heats starting tonight, before culminating in a feature night on Sunday, May 10 - which will be isolated to Trot Rods races only.
Eight heats will be staged on the feature night – swelling the series total to 16 - and will be limited to 20-minute gaps between races.
“It’s not something that racing fans are accustomed to seeing. The broadcast enhancements including driver-cam means viewers will be closer to the action than ever before and we’re excited by the high-octane nature of Trot Rods from start to finish,” said Racing Queensland CEO, Brendan Parnell.
Redcliffe Harness Racing Club President, Bernie Ring, was looking forward to a new demographic in harness racing.
“It’s a great to see both Racing Queensland and our club thinking out of the square. The concept has attracted good sponsorship. We will also have a 120-metre dash for athletes from the Queensland Athletic League,” Ring said.
Meanwhile, the Garrard trained, Bumper, has opened up the $3.20 second favourite in the inaugural Trot Rod five-horse dash tonight.
The 6-year-old son of Cammibest has drawn the outside of the front line (5). The $2 favourite is the Mark McNee trained and Nathan Dawson driven Lifes Back (2).
“He’s the only one I’ve got in. I also own him. If they go ‘helter-skelter’, which they should, then he can come over the top of them. He shouldn’t be far off them in the small field.
“Angus (son) knows the horse real well. He knows all of ours well actually. I’m really proud of him. I think he’s driven 54 winners in his first eight months of driving,” said Garrard, who is currently working a team of 12.
“I’m looking forward to June when Angus will be able to drive on Saturday nights at Albion Park,” he added.
If Bumper shows any glimpse of the same form that saw him and Kylie Rasmussen win from gate nine by 1.3 metres last Saturday night in the city, then he should go very close tonight.
They came out of the one-one, pacing the 1,660m mobile in 1:58.9. That equated to a 1:55.3 mile rate thanks to these sectionals: 27, 30.9, 27.9, and 29.9
The brown gelding has now won 11 of his 62 starts since making his debut second at Redcliffe Paceway on July 27, 2016. He’s also placed 24 times and banked $71,484 in stakes.
Another last-start winner, the Grant Dixon trained and driven, Jovial Julie (4), is $4.50 third favourite. The Ryan Veivers trained and driven, Magoogan (3) opened up paying $9, while the $21 outsider, Michaels Desire (1) completes the field.
He is trained by Bianca Hopper trained and will be driven by Lachie Manzelmann.
Trot Rods 2020 (All Wednesdays Heats 1-8):
Heat 1: March 11; Heat 2: March 18; Heat 3: March 25; Heat 4: April 1; Heat 5: April 8; Heat 6: April 15; Heat 7: April 22.; Heat 8: April 29; Heats 9-16: Sunday May 10.