Luk is in
By Michael Guerin
Luk Chin will feel like a winner even before he arrives at Alexandra Park with his trio of trotters tonight.
Because the 75-year-old Waikato doctor who spends his Friday nights driving racehorses for fun is thrilled to have his trotting darling Tereskova racing in her very own race tonight.
Alexandra Park officials have named the fourth on the card tonight the “Tereskova 100+ Starts At AP And Still Going Strong Trot”, which as well as being a mouthful is one hell of an accomplishment.
Tereskova has actually started 116 times at northern headquarters during her 134 start career, winning nine races and earning just over $1000 per start.
Chin is stoked to see her honoured for her long service and exciting racing style.
“I was chuffed when they said they were going to name a race after her,” said Chin. “She is still trotting times as good as she ever has and loves being a racehorse so I don’t see a reason to retire her yet.
“Maybe next season she will go to stud and while it is a good field this week our tactics won’t change. She is a one-pacer so we will try and lead and go as fast as we can.”
Those tactics will be employed without any encouragement from a whip though, with Chin having given up carrying the persuader with Tereskova long ago.
“She knows what to do and gets out there and runs and I would only carry a whip with my horses about 10 per cent of the time.
“Mainly when they are learning and they try and pull up. But once they know what to do I drive them all without a whip.” While Woodstone, Credit Master and Sundees Son among others might be too sharp for Tereskova at the end of her race, Chin has two other winning chances tonight, not bad for a man who breeds, owns and trains all his own horses as a hobby before heading off to work as an aneatheatist at Waikato Hospital.
Safrakova is good enough to get money in race six “as long as she behaves herself” while the unique stable’s best chance is Savitskaya in the last race. She should have won a maiden by now but got a bee in her bonnet a few starts ago and started galloping early but her manners appear to be coming right.
“If she trots all the way I think she will win,” says Chin.
So how much longer will the 75-year-old want to keep getting up at 5am to work his team of mainly female trotters when it probably costs him more money than it makes him?
“I love it. I’ve never won a group one before so being the first 80-year-old to drive a group one winner sounds like a good goal,” he laughs.