Chris Lang Jr and Haley Toulmin a proving to be a real force in Monte racing for trotters.GUS UNDERWOOD December 6, 2013 4:15am
Chris Lang Sr deservedly holds the moniker of ‘‘King of the Trotters’’ and now his son, Chris Jr, is making a serious bid to be recognised as ‘‘Master of the Monte’’ mentors.
Lang Jr and partner Haley Toulmin combined for their second win in a week when Our Unique Star won a Monte heat at Ballarat last Friday night.
The previous weekend Toulmin had ridden the Lang Jr-trained Andys Favourite to victory in a Globe Derby heat of the mini Monte series which culminates with a final on Victoria Cup night at Melton tomorrow night week.
Lang Jr in fact quinellaed the Ballarat heat last Friday night with Andys Favourite, ridden by Maree Campbell, finishing second, while Chris Lang Sr-trained Kyvalley Rap took the minor placing in a Lang family training trifecta.
Lang Jr has just Our Unique Star and Andys Favourite racing in Monte races at present, but is also preparing former New Zealand mare Im Ready Set for the series which culminates on Great Southern Star at Melton in March.
‘‘We got her (Im Ready Set) a bit late for this series, but she is a top class mare I’m preparing for Monte racing,’’ Lang Jr said.
Im Ready Set won two Menangle races in her 10 Australian starts after winning eight races in New Zealand before heading across the Tasman.
Lang Jr said preparing trotters for Monte races was much the same as working sulky-driven trotters.
‘‘They do most of their work in the sulky to gain fitness, but I ride them occasionally to get them used to Monte racing,’’ Lang Jr said.
Toulmin has an impressive strike rate in Monte races with her Ballarat win on Our Unique Star her fifth success from 13 rides.
But her record could have been even more impressive because she has lost two races on protest.
Toulmin directs most of the credit for her success in Monte races to trainer Lang Jr.
‘‘He’s done a great job in preparing them to win these races,’’ Toulmin, who can’t wait for the final tomorrow night week when she will again partner Our Unique Star, an 11-year-old Sundon gelding, said.
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