Headache Horse Tolkien Gets Another Win
8th May 2021
“That’s as good as he’s gone,” trainer driver Kirk Larsen said after Tolkien won his fourth race at Ascot Park today.
“He hasn’t been an easy horse. He’s got a real quirky nature and is his own boss. He trains well at home but you just don’t know which horse is going to turn up on the day.”
Tolkien warming up
Consequently the gelding has been a very difficult horse to follow both for his trainer and punters, but he had a few things in his favour today.
“Being on the second row I thought that would help which it did. If he draws two or three on the front and there’s a delay and they muck around he loses it.”
Although he ran down the track at his last starts, his previous two runs had been good.
“The last start he missed away but before that he raced behind the mobile which he loves but you don’t get that many down here.”
Larsen said the horse normally gets worked up while travelling to the races or in his box prior to the race but today was different.
“Normally in the float he’s a bloody idiot – he rocks and rolls and mucks around but today for some reason he was as calm as anything. I’ve struck him like that a couple of times. Anytime he’s been like that, he’s gone pretty well.”
After trotting off the mark today Larsen settled the five year old midfield on the outside. As other horses started to improve at the 600 he had to give up his good spot and move Tolkien around the field.
“He felt extra good. When I peeled, I didn’t really want to go but I had to get handy.”
At the 300 he had trotted up to the leader Palisade and hit the lead on straightening. He beat Insist The Win by two and a quarter lengths.
“For some reason he’s trotting the bends a lot better. He always used to crab the bends and run in a bit but now he’s actually running out and since he’s been doing that he’s trotting the bends a lot better.”
Tolkien winning for Kirk Larsen
Heading to the birdcage
Tolkien is owned by Lynette Philpot and Larsen’s son Tristan. Philpot raced Auckland Cup winner Howard Bromac from the Larsen stable.
“Michelle’s (Tristan’s mother) sister Susan Hayes was actually in the horse as well but she gave her share to Tristan for this eighteenth birthday.”
So after a frustrating run of luck and a few ‘outs’ the Larsen’s are rewarded by a trotter that hasn’t finished winning yet.
“There was a time when he was frustrating me so much I was going to put him on Gavelhouse (auction site) but we stuck with him and he’s won two since then.”
Larsen says the stable has a good number of young trotters coming through.
“Tristan has always been keen on the trotters and we’ve got a few around us. They have three trots a day now so if you haven’t got one you’re missing out. I remember working at Bryce Buchanan’s. They had ten sets of bell boots and shoes welded inside other shoes. She was a bit of a battle to get them going but trotters are so much better these days.”