Luk Chin turns 80 - "I'm going to keep going for a while yet"

By Michael Guerin

Luk Chin may be turning 80 today but he says there is a very good reason he can’t retire from training and, more remarkably, driving in races.

“I still have a goal to achieve, I want a Group 1 winner,” says the hugely popular Waikato horseman.

Chin has been driving winners for four decades and has no reason to be concerned he is losing his touch: last season as a 79-year-old was his most successful yet with nine driving wins.

All are trotters, all horses he trains, bred and owns himself and almost all have the same step and run profile, Chin’s gold and brown colours having led hundreds of trotting races at Alexandra Park and Cambridge since he started driving in 1981.

In the form of his life Chin says he has no plans to retire from his passion even though the club of people competing in professional races after their 80th birthday must be one of the racing’s smallest.

“I am still loving it and it helps keep me young,” says Chin.

“I went to Sir Patrick Hogan’s funeral last week and moments like that are a reminder we all only have so long and you should do the things you love in life.

“My eyesight is good, the horses are going well and I still love it so I am going to keep going for a while yet.”

Not that Chin is lacking purpose or other tasks to keep him active as he enters his ninth decade.

He is still a practising anesthesioligist and working on two new medical centre developments as a consultant, all after working his team of horses in the morning.

He has trained 161 winners and driven 135, almost all trotters, and says ambition is not just for the young.

“I still have a goal to train, own, breed and drive a group 1 winner,” he smiles.

“I won the NZ Trotting Derby years ago but it was only a group 2 then so that is something I’d like to achieve.

“But I realise I will need to get a really good two or three-year-old trotter if I am going to pull that off, because it is too hard to win those group 1 races for the older horses.

“So I better hurry up.”

Chin will be back doing what he loves on his home track at Cambridge on Thursday night, where he could have three trotters in the same race and has his first drive as a 80-year-old.







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