Trent Dawson bids for spot in The Eureka

Trent Dawson’s Future Assured.

Regarded as a rising star in the Queensland training ranks, Trent Dawson gets his chance to push for national honours on Saturday evening at Albion Park.

The 37-year-old was set to have two starters in the first-ever The Hayden race as part of the Queensland Constellations carnival, but it will just be Future Assured who will contest the new event.

The Hayden is Queensland’s pathway race into the $2.1 million TAB Eureka that will be run in September of this year at Menangle.

The winner of Saturday’s The Hayden gets automatic entry into the all-new Eureka.

Dawson is a multiple Group 1-winner on home soil as a trainer and reinsman and thinks he has the pacer that could put his stable up in the national spotlight.

“It would be great to win the inaugural running of The Hayden and for whoever does win it, it is a great initiative,” Dawson said.

Trent Dawson and his family at his stable.

“To go and represent Queensland later this year, it is not just about winning one race but it is an entire experience.”

The Hayden is named after former test cricketer Matthew Hayden and is for three and four-year-old QBRED pacers that must be Queensland-trained and Queensland-driven.

Positions in the inaugural The Hayden were purchased at an auction at the Sunshine Stars Yearling sale in March, with all the funds from the auction added onto the initial prize money, with Saturday’s race set to be run for $231,000.

Dawson’s Future Assured will be running for slot holders ‘Solid Earth’ on Saturday from the eight barrier.

Chairman of the Albion Park Harness Racing Club Brad Steele believes races such as The Hayden and The Great Square – which was run for the first time last week – is what sets the Queensland Constellations carnival apart.

“I think the challenge is every year that we need to keep building the carnival out,” Steele said.

“I am looking forward to The Hayden as it has created a lot of narrative and interest, it is something different.

“The more innovation that we can come up in Queensland with the better and it is a point of difference between us and other areas.”

Future Assured was the Group 3 Sunshine Stars Yearling Sale champion for his age group and gender in his three-year-old campaign.

The gelding’s three runs through the current carnival do not scream stand out performances but Dawson is quietly pleased with how Future Assured is travelling.

He finished top four in the Patron’s Purse around The Triangle, ran into second in the Queensland Sun before not figuring in the finish of the Group 1 The Rising Sun last Saturday.

Despite being more than 20 metres behind Leap To Fame when he hit the winning post, Dawson was happy with Future Assured’s sectional times in the run.

The trainer and driver says he feels better about the horse than he did prior to the carnival starting as he now understands where he is at against the top liners.

After tackling the likes of Leap To Fame last week, he looks well placed against three and four-year-old QBRED pacers in The Hayden over 2138 metres.

Future Assured is a $10 chance in early markets as of Thursday morning. 

“He has come through his last few runs really well as they have been in much tougher grade,” Dawson said.

“He has done well and seasoned up a bit from it. We blooded him against those top horses.

“It is going to be tough in The Hayden this week as we have a back row draw.

“He is right in it and we are going to need a bit of luck.”

At just 37 years of age and with a young family in tow, Dawson is a name to watch in the coming years.

“It has been fantastic to see the evolution of a lot of our participants and Trent Dawson is one of those,” Racing Queensland’s Senior Harness Racing Manager David Brick said.

“From a training and driving point of view, he has really picked up in the training aspect.

“He has got a couple of really good horses and that is great for the training stocks within Queensland for the future.

“It is good to see up-and-comers – particularly Queenslanders doing well – and hopefully his horses can go on and represent Queensland on the national stage, which would be the next step for our participants and horses.”

He is well-respected at club land, as well.

“Trent Dawson is a magnificent young trainer and has really stepped up to the mark,” Redcliffe Peninsula Harness Racing and Sporting Club president Bernie Ring said.

“He has some really nice horses.”

Dawson’s For Real Life was originally also going to contest The Hayden but the horseman says he will be out for a few weeks with a minor injury.

Trent Dawson and Future Assured.

By Jordan Gerrans

Source: Racing Queensland