Larsen ready for second Addington tilt
By Jonny Turner
The bright lights of New Zealand harness racing’s most hallowed harness track can be intimidating for young drivers but Tristan Larsen is not among them.
The Southland junior driver will have his second drive at Addington behind Tolkien in race 4 on Thursday night after piloting the trotter in his first outing at the track last week.
It’s fair to say Larsen wasn’t over-awed by the occasion and he is unlikely to be when he returns this week.
“It was pretty good but it is just a track at the end of the day and I didn’t try to think about it too much.”
Tolkien was sound in his first look at Addington, running on from last to finish fifth behind Rogie Falls.
Larsen was pleased with the effort considering the five-year-old got back on a slow speed.
“I was really happy with his run, they went the middle half (800m) in 65sec, so it was pretty much a walk-sprint.”
“By the time I got out it was too late.”
“He felt pretty good, it probably didn’t look as good on TV, but when they are running those times it is hard to make ground.”
Tolkien is well known for having a decent motor, but also for being prone to making plenty of mistakes.
Though, the trotter has been on his best behaviour lately
“He loves the mobile, he has got gate speed and he trots better behind it.”
“But he has been pretty good lately, in just about all of his starts.”
“So, hopefully we have turned a corner.”
Tolkien looks ideally placed from barrier 1 in Thursday night’s 1980m sprint.
Larsen is hopeful there won’t be too many attackers if he blasts out to an early lead.
“I think he would be a pretty good show, he has got a lot of gate speed.”
“He should get things pretty easy, hopefully.”
Tolkien opened at $7.50 and $2.40 odds in race 4’s fixed odds market.
Larsen heads to Ascot Park on Saturday for two drives in Saviour Telf (race 1) and Jabali (race 9).
Saviour Telf looks a decent eachway chance after running an unlucky seventh on debut.
“He was unlucky, nothing worked in his favour, I was pretty happy with him.”
“I just tried to take care of him first-up and give him a bit of confidence.”
“He was actually close to getting sacked at one point but he has turned the corner.”
Jabali has been consistent since returning from a spell and should strip at his peak after having the benefit of four runs.
“He has had a few runs now and hopefully he is ready to rumble on Saturday.”
Larsen heads into this week’s racing with 10 career wins.