Larsen wins first race in style
By Jonny Turner
There were no nervous moments for Tristan Larsen as Duke Of Dundee powered away from his opposition to score the junior driver’s first career win Ascot Park on Saturday.
The 17-year-old was the only person in his first winning photo when his charge burst along the passing lane to win race 4 by three and three-quarter lengths.
Duke Of Dundee’s victory was a family affair with Larsen’s father, Kirk, training the horse and his mother, Michelle, racing the horse with fellow owner, Gordon Smith.
“It was pretty cool to do it for Dad and long-time owner Gordon Smith, he has had a lot of horses with us.”
Larsen gave Duke Of Dundee a perfect run in the trail throughout from barrier 1.
The 4yr-old was travelling so well before the turn there was no need for the rookie reinsman to get too nervous.
“It was good to get the monkey off the back.”
“He was going real good most of the way and I sort of knew when I turned in to the straight he was going to put a good effort in.”
Being the son of a horse trainer suggests Larsen was destined for a career in the sulky.
However, the teenager admitted there was a time when he did not see himself moving in to harness racing.
“Not earlier on - I was a typical boy that liked rugby and mates.”
“I came to the races later on and got a love for it.”
Larsen did not exactly step slowly in to driving when experiencing trackwork for the first time at his father’s stable.
The youngster sat behind group 1 winner Howard Bromac in his first sit in the sulky.
“When he was a pacemaker Dad let me have a sit behind him,” Larsen said.
“He was a pretty good horse to learn on.”
Larsen gained more experience through a short stint in the Kidz Kartz programme while continuing to work with his father’s horses.
The junior driver now juggles work at the Branxholme barn while also working for Ryal Bush trainer Brett Gray.
With his first win ticked off in his 31st drive, Larsen will now strive to continue to improve his driving.
“Hopefully I can win a few races and get a better and better.”