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Elkins praised for patient drive on Nui Toc Tien

By Duane Ranger

Trainer Trevor Lambourn credited Nui Toc Tien’s win at Albion Park on Saturday with an inch-perfect drive from Rosewood reinsman Matt Elkins.

The pacer, who was a grass track specialist in New Zealand, has now racked up his 16th career win, and 10th in Australia.

“Matt sat in when others like the favourite Clintal Do went,” Lambourn said.

“He showed a lot of guts down the back straight the last time to stay in like he did. His patience won us the race. That was a brilliant drive from a very underrated reinsman.”

Albion Park


Nui Toc Tien’s 1.1m victory over Clintal Do in the $13,000 Hurrikane Kingcole At Egmont Park Stud Open Pace was his fifth at Albion Park.

The eight-year-old has also won four at Redcliffe Paceway and one at Tabcorp Park Menangle (October 30, 2018).

But before the Man Around Town gelding was exported from New Zealand in March 2017, he won the South Island Grass Track Championship at Motukarara in Canterbury. This was run in the early part of the 2017-2018 season.

“He’s a very handy horse. He’d be in the top five I’ve driven and definitely one of the quickest for point to point speed,” Elkins said.

When Nui Toc Tien arrived in Australia he was based at with Vicki Rasmussen and Shane Graham’ at Logan Village.

Nineteen starts, and four more wins later, Nui Toc Tien found himself at Lambourn’s Lower Mount Walker stable.

Nui Toc Tien had his first start for him on November 25, 2017. His career record now stands at 96:16-14-14 ($119,888). He has a mile mark of 1:52.8.

“He has too much speed for his own good, but a lot of drivers feel it and go too early. He’s a sit and sprint horse who can unleash a very quick quarter,” Lambourn said.

“When Matt followed Clintal Do around the final bend I knew he had the speed to get past him. In saying that you could run these types of open races 10 times and there would be four or five different winners..

“Last night’s win came down to the drive,” he stressed.


Nui Toc Tien paced the 2,138m in 2:32.3 with a 1:54.7 mile rate. His sectionals were 30.1, 29.3, 28.4, and 28.

Lambourn, who is in his early 40s and has been training for just over a decade, said taking Nui Toc Tien to Sydney last October and November was the making of him.

“He not only learnt how to use his speed but the trip away did wonders for him. I was originally going away for a week and ended up down there for 40 days,” he said.

“I only went there because Albion Park was closed down. It’s something I will do with him again within the next six weeks. He’s still got an M0 win in him which I want to capitalise on.

“I’m not sure I’ll stay the full 40 days this time. I’d like to get him back here and prepare for our Winter Carnival,” said Lambourn, who rated ‘Nui’ in the top three in his 12-strong stable.

“He’s a lovely little pony, It’s hard not to like him,” he added.

Nui Toc Tien is owned by Lambourn's wife, Rachel, and her mother, Margaret Scott. He was bred by Neil Ure in New Zealand.

For the record: Nui Toc Tien is a hill (less than 300m high) in the Ba Ria-Vung Tau province in Vietnam.

Another highlight on Saturday night came in the second event when the Tayla Gillespie trained and Adam Richardson driven Hot Rod Heaven smoked a 1:52.6 mile rate for the 1660m.


The 6-year-old Rock N Roll Heaven gelding won easily by 5.4m, stopping the clock in a slick 1:56.1. Sectionals: 26.3, 27.8, 28.5, and 29.2.

It was Hot Rod Heaven's 11th win in 87 starts – and his most impressive. He's also placed 19 times and bagged $59,780 in purses.