"The Kid" and Living Free set early Trot Rods benchmark

23 April 2021 | Jordan Gerrans

“The Kid” Angus Garrard thinks Living Free has set a more than competitive time as an early benchmark in the 2021 edition of the TAB Trot Rods series.

Garrard and the Phill Keats-trained gelding (pictured) was the fastest of the opening two heats on Wednesday night at Redcliffe, getting home in a blistering time of 66.45 seconds.

Living Free’s effort moves him to the top ten for now with 10 heats to be run over successive Wednesday nights before the Trot Rods Final night on Wednesday May 26.

With The Band took out the inaugural Trot Rods crown, and the $10,000 bonus, in a time of 64.77 seconds last year, with Living Free’s 947m dash a little behind that.

Dubbed “The Kid” as a part of the drivers’ colours initiative, impressive youngster Garrard believes the Keats pacer has given himself a chance to fight out the finish in the coming weeks.

“It is going to make it hard once we get into the higher grade, they start peeling off 27-second quarters,” Garrard said.

“That will make it hard to keep that time, but I think he is certainly in with a shot.”

In the five horse field in the second heat of the night, Garrard never gave his opponents a chance as he dashed away early on and did not look like getting run down at any stage.

He put almost 14 metres on the chasing pack, led by Kid Calvert.

“He went really good after winning a heat of the series last year, as well,” Garrard said.

“I thought it would suit him again and he really showed up.

“I did not have a plan exactly how I would drive him, but I thought we would find the front and once he was rolling early, I thought I would just let him slide.

“We kept a break on them, instead of stopping and starting, but he went really nice - he was rolling along really good.”

Living Free now has four wins to his name from 96 starts.

On the second edition of the exciting TAB Trot Rods Series in 2021, Garrard says he embraces the concept and is behind any idea that aims to bring new audiences to the harness racing industry.

On the fast paced nature of the concept, Garrard said it was different doing the form and preparing for races, just looking for pure speed when it comes to his drives.

In the opening heat of the evening, 'Leader Peter' Pete McMullen got the money with Elle Jay (pictured), trained by Peter Greig in 67.86 seconds.

The second of the two heats was a much faster run affair than the opener, with three runners from the second heat posting a better time than Elle Jay.

Two more heats for the TAB Trot Rods series will be run this coming Wednesday night, April 28 at Redcliffe.

A $10,000 bonus will be awarded to the owners of the horse with the fastest time throughout the series, thanks to Otto Tuza.

The winning trainer will also receive an Otto Tuza two-horse angled and fully enclosed horse float valued at over $21,000.

A $1,000 bonus will be awarded to the connections of any horse that eclipses the previous best series time, split 80% to owner and 20% to trainer.


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