Trent Moffat and Vanity Bay lift Trot Rods title for 2023

The winning team of Angus Garrard, Vanity Bay and Trent Moffat.

A long-term plan to be competitive in the popular Trot Rods concept has come to fruition for young horseman Trent Moffat.

The 30-year-old trainer and driver was a regular in the Redcliffe series in 2023 with Vanity Bay, Mister Diamond and Shadys Cullect all featuring. 

Vanity Bay was specifically purchased to contest the unique 947 metre dash around the Triangle track and the bay gelding has delivered on Moffat’s early thoughts that he was perfect for the series.

Alongside driver Angus Garrard, Moffat lifted the Trot Rods crown for 2023 on Wednesday evening after Vanity Bay left it to the fourth last heat of the 20 on offer to set the hottest time.

The Logan Village-based Moffat was a proud man to claim the prize on offer.

“I really like the concept and we bought this guy with this series in mind,” the trainer said.

“It was good to get the result with him.”

The Grant Dixon-trained and driven Aroda entered the finale evening holding the fastest time of the series so far at 64.6 seconds, which was posted in the fifth heat earlier this month.

From there, it was a race card full of twists and turns with the fastest time for the 2023 series lowered on several occasions.

It took until the 17th heat of the 20 for the winning time to be posted, with Vanity Bay scorching home under the urgings of Angus Garrard to seal the series in 63.76 seconds.

Vanity Bay’s time was just outside that of the winning mark from 2022, which was the quickest time ever recorded in the popular series.

Driver Cameron Hart and Just Dessy claimed last year’s spoils in 63.46 seconds.

Moffat worked for the Dixon stable in the early stages of his career and while he eventually went out on his own accord to train, he still would pick up a drive for the champion horseman every now and again.

That is when he first laid eyes and sat behind Vanity Bay.

Moffat had three drives on the son of Western Ideal before he was put up for sale.

That was when Moffat – who trains and drives in races – and owner Kerri Dowsett swooped.

Since then, Vanity Bay has won on three occasions, including the Trot Rods triumph.

“I had left Grant’s when he had him but I drove him a couple of times and the first time I did not like him,” Moffat said.

“But, the second time he went really good.

“When he came up for sale, Kerri and that were looking for one at the time and it worked out good.”

It was the second time Vanity Bay had featured in Trot Rods for 2023 on Wednesday night after he went down by a slim margin to eventual series leader Aroda in the fifth heat earlier this month.

From the fifth heat to the 17th, Moffat believes his speedster had improved.

“He raced in that Marburg series and he pulled up with a bit of a virus,” Moffat said.

“So, that first run back he probably needed the run.

“He has steadily improved from there and I was pretty confident he would run a pretty good time tonight and he did, which is great.”

Moffat and Dowsett claimed a $10,000 cash bonus and an Otto Tuza 3 horse float for setting the quickest lap across the 20 heats.

It was a double for Moffat on the program after stable mate Mister Diamond won the 15th heat of the series.

Pete McMullen took driving honours for the Trot Rods finale evening, collecting four wins over the 10 heats.

Angus Garrard and Vanity Bay scorching to victory.

By Jordan Gerrans