Catch up on the week’s harness racing action in our weekly review, thanks to Darren Clayton.
The Garrard family had a memorable week in Queensland harness racing with success on multiple fronts.
Chris (CJ) Garrard, the patriarch of the Garrard family, enjoyed feature race success at Albion Park on Saturday night, his son Daren tasted victory as an owner, a trainer and a breeder and grandson Angus drove a swag of winners at Redcliffe and Albion Park.
CJ is originally from Mullumbimby in the Northern Rivers of NSW and has recently started naming horses with the prefix Mullum.
And it was a pair of ‘Mullum’s’ that claimed the two-year-old double on Saturday night in both divisions of the QBRED Breeders Classic events.
Mullum Axel was the first winner, trained and driven to victory by Darren Weeks, leading throughout in the colts and geldings’ division, with the triumph made even sweeter with a $14,000 QBRED first win bonus.
Also bred by CJ, along with Nick Steele, Mullum Axel is by Changeover out of Rowan Franco.
The gelding defeated his stable mate Regazzo Di Tilly in the 1660 metre event, reversing the finishing order of a race at Redcliffe just three days earlier.
Regazzo Di Tilly, owned by CJ in partnership with his son Daren, is also a son of the Garrard-owned Changeover, giving the Garrard’s the one-two finish in the feature, in what was also a strong week for the Burwood Stud-based sire.
One race later and it was Angus Garrard in the bike to claim victory over 1660 metre for his grandfather with the Weeks-trained Mullum Ruby claiming the fillies division.
Settling in the running line while The Grogmother, for Nathan Dawson, controlled the tempo in front, when Garrard asked his filly to sprint, she let down powerfully to swoop by and claim victory.
As with the win of ‘Axel’, the win of ‘Ruby’ was also a maiden breaking victory, adding the lucrative QBRED first win bonus to the winning prize money.
The daughter of Roll With Joe was bought by CJ for what now appears a bargain $8,000 from last year’s Brisbane APG yearling sale.
Earlier in the week, R Eleven Art, which was bred by Daren Garrard but is owned by his wife Gayle, Chris and Louise Essex and David O’Halloran, set a new benchmark for the 2022 Trot Rods Series.
Driven by Angus, the three-year-old son of Artsplace made full use of the passing lane to burst through and stop the clock at 64.6 seconds, to claim Heat 9 to top the leader board for the Otto Tuza float presented to the trainer of the fastest winner at the completion of the 20 Heats.
Angus was able to land four winners at Redcliffe on Wednesday night, with Schooby, Eyedunno and Regazzo Di Tilly, the latter two both claiming a QBRED first win bonus with their victories.
The big week started on Tuesday when the three generations combined with the win of Catseye Beach at The Creek, the three-year-old Daren Garrard-trained gelding claiming a maiden breaking win for owner CJ, with Angus taking the reins.