By Duane Ranger
The career of one of Queensland’s best mini trot drivers came to an end at Tabcorp Menangle last Saturday night.
After winning about 100 races and three Mini Miracle Miles in 2013, 2016, and 2018, Brisbane’s Angus Garrard is now ready to take on the men and women in the open driving ranks.
In fact the talented 15-year-old has all his trials licenses and now only has to wait until his 16th birthday in June to fulfil his lifetime dream.
“I’m really looking forward to becoming a driver against some of the people I’ve always Iooked up to, but I’ve loved driving the ponies. It’s something I’ve done since I was six,” Garrard said.
The talented teenager leaves the mini pony ranks with a second placing in his last ever mini trot drive in the 2019 Mini Miracle Mile in Sydney on Saturday (March 2). Fellow Queenslander, Wayne Dwyer, finished third behind Danielle Dash.
Garrard was driving Sparkling Star, the same pony he recently trained to win the New South Wales Mini Trotting Championship.
In fact Garrard can train the Shetlands as good as he can drive them. His career training record is 13 starters for three wins and six placings.
But to the young fella’s credit he’s in no hurry to leave St Paul’s School in Bald Hills.
“I’ve got a couple of years before Year 12 so I’ll probably stay at school until then end, and hopefully still work the horses at the same time," he said.
“I’ve been fortunate that I’ve had some really good horsemen and women help me over the years. Dad (Daren) and Mum (Gayle) have been a huge help and so have Darrel Graham and Luke McCarthy when he worked up here.
“Because of them I want to make a real good go of it."
Garrard was brought up around horses. His family have been huge sponsors of harness racing over the years via their international company – Garrard’s Horse And Hound.
Asked if he had any one major ambition in the sport, Garrard replied:
“I’d love to drive an Interdom winner one day. That would be a great race to win.”
Garrard is also the grandson of Chris Garrard (OAM), who was bestowed with an Order of Australia Merit on Australia day this year for his services to harness racing.
Garrard’s Mini Miracle Mile performances have been impressive since April 2013. In fact there would be few who could match this record:
2013 (April): Three starters – trained and drove Twebby Twotter to win, while Sparkling Star finished second.
2013 (November): Three starters for a second, fourth and 10th.
2014: Two starters for a second and a third.
2015: No Miracle Mile.
2016: Two starters – trained and drove Twebby Twotter to win. Sparkling Star was third.
2017: One starter - Twebby Twotter ran second.
2018: Two starters – trained and drove Twebby Twotter to first. Sparkling Star fifth.
2019: Trained and drove Sparkling Star to second.
Garrard has also raced across the Tasman where he finished midfield in the New Zealand Kidz Kartz Cup.