By Jordan Gerrans
Horseman Trent Moffat will use the second edition of the exciting TAB Trot Rods Series in 2021 to continue to build and grow his stable in Queensland.
The Brisbane-based driver and trainer previously worked for the powerful Grant Dixon barn, but has gone out on his own in recent time to make a fist of it himself as a trainer.
He has eight in work and is always looking for more horses, he says.
With the sophomore season of the thrilling TAB Trot Rods Series starting on Wednesday at Redcliffe, there is no more perfect chance for Moffat to show his wares.
He says it can be a test at times running and operating his own stable but is pleased with the way it is going.
“I am finding it challenging, the team is going consistent at the moment and running a lot of placings,” Moffat said.
“I would hope to get a few more winners on the board over the next few months.
“It has been great, a bit of a challenge to cast my eye over the entire operation myself - it is a fair bit of work - but I am enjoying it.”
Trot Rods will kick-start with two heats at Redcliffe on Wednesday and continue with a total of 10 heats run over successive Wednesday nights.
The initiative, which was launched last year, showcases one of the shortest harness racing distances across the globe and will provide a $10,000 cash bonus for the quickest lap throughout the promotion.
Moffat has drives in each of the opening two heats, but is likely to only have one go around, with NaughtyInHeaven likely to be an emergency in the first heat.
The series of races will be conducted over 947 metres, just over one lap of the triangular circuit, with Moffat explaining drivers need to have a “Plan A” and a “Plan B” for such short and speedy races.
He goes into the race with a general plan of what he wants to do but will often have to alter that once the gates are down and most of the field are chasing the early lead.
“The tactics early on in a race, it is more urgent to get the advantage,” Moffat said.
“You need to use your gate speed to get a good spot if they are running hard for the one lap, if you are too far back, you are not going to make the ground up.
“If you end up five lengths off them in the back straight, you are in a lot of trouble, but if you can ping forward early and keep up with them, then you can have a last shot at them.
“You need to judge it as the gate goes, because a lot of drivers want to go forward in this series, you just need to be ready to go.”
Moffat has Jamaican Resort in the second heat, who has drawn the five, but he says the Des Pollock-trained gelding has good gate speed and they should be a big chance.
Redcliffe Harness Racing Club president Bernie Ring is hoping the second edition of Trot Rods is bigger and better than its predecessor.
“It was embraced by the entire harness racing community after being a bit of a novelty to start with,” Ring said.
“By the end of the final, it came down to the final race, which was really exciting.”