By Duane Ranger
It was only a matter of time.
One of the best mini trot drivers to have come out of Queensland drove his first TAB winner at Albion Park last Friday (June 28).
Angus Garrard steered his father, Daren’s five-year-old mare Kylie Bromac ($11) to a 1.5m victory in Race 4 - the $6,500 Mr Feelgood At Egmont Park Stud 4YO & Older Pace.
It was just Garrard’s 13th race-day drive.
"It's so satisfying to get the ‘monkey off my back’ after a few placings,” he said.
“I’m just so pleased it was behind Dad's horse. Dad and Mum (Gayle) have been such great supporters to me over the years.
"I got my first pony when I was very young and have never looked back. This is the career I have dreamed about for so long, and I owe it all to them. I’ve raced inter-State and even in the New Zealand Kidz Kartz Cup in Christchurch.”
After winning about 100 races and three Mini Miracle
Miles in 2013, 2016, and 2018, Garrard had his last drive in the Mini Miracle Mile in Sydney in late February, where he finished second.
The St Paul’s (Bald Hills) student’s first TAB drive was on June 18 – that was two days after his 16th birthday.
“I’ve been waiting and waiting for my 16th birthday to come. At last I’m living my dream. I finished down the field in my first drive, and now I’ve got my first win out of the way I just want to keep improving by getting more drives,” he said.
“Hopefully then the wins will look after themselves. I don’t really have any targets at this early stage of my career. I just want to keep developing as a driver,” said Garrard, who works part-time for his father at Burpengary East.
He said he rated his first TAB winner much more satisfying than any of his three Miracle Mile Pony Trot wins.
“This is the highlight of my driving so far. I will never forget this first win. Two days after my 16th birthday is easy to remember,” he said.
Garrard and Kylie Bromac started from gate three, and they trailed the favourite Headwin (Trent Moffat) throughout.
In the straight Garrard could have gone inside or out, but elected to duck along the passing lane to win the 1660m mobile in 1:59.3 (mile rate 1:55.6). The sectionals were 29.1, 31.2, 27.5, 28.1.
It was Kylie Bromac's fifth win in 46 starts. She's also placed six times and banked just under $20,000 in purses.
Garrard said he was relishing the opportunity to compete against some of the drivers he had long looked up to, but to the young fella’s credit he’s in no hurry to leave St Paul’s.
“I’ve got a couple of years before the end of Year 12 so I’ll probably stay at school until then, and hopefully still work the horses at the same time. I would like to be a personal trainer or maybe get a trade behind me,” he told RQ earlier this year.
“I’ve been fortunate that I’ve had some really good horsemen and horsewomen help me over the years. Because of them I want to make a real good go of it.”
Garrard was brought up around horses. His parents 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.