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Lifes Black took out the first Trot Rods heat in dramatic fashion at Redcliffe last night to stop the clock at 1:06.2 to set the series benchmark.
The $1.30 favourite took the early lead in the 947 metre contest and looked to be coasting to an easy win before Bumper pushed late from the outside to narrowly miss on the line.
“We always intended to lead but we didn’t quite have enough early speed,” Lifes Black driver Nathan Dawson said.
“The inside horse didn’t handle the first corner so we got lucky and once we got to the front I thought we’d be pretty hard to beat.
“I knew Bumper would be coming late but I was pretty confident we’d be able to hold him off over the short trip.”
The four-year-old gelding has now set the time to beat, with a $10,000 cash bonus awarded for the quickest lap throughout the promotion
“It was a fair time I thought but I think there will be quicker ones over the heats,” Dawson said.
“There was a fair bit of wind going around last night which made it tough, so I think there’ll be a faster time to come.”
Throughout March and April, Redcliffe will host weekly heats before culminating in a feature night on Sunday, May 10 which will be isolated to Trot Rods races and incorporated into SKY 2’s free-to-access coverage via Foxtel.
In total, 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.
“The Trot Rods series is a great idea, we need something different for the sport – something to get a bit of excitement going and this is certainly doing that,” Dawson said.