Day At The Track

Lang hoping to make his long-awaited return

07:35 AM 08 Nov 2018 NZDT
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Chris Lang,Harness racing
Chris Lang

Three-time Inter Dominion winning trainer Chris Lang is hoping to make his long-awaited return from a spell next week.

It has been three years and eight months since Lang last graced the track, stepping away from the sport he loves in 2015 after being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease.

A masterful horseman, the now Riddells Creek based 58-year-old trained Galleons Sunset to win trotting’s greatest prize in 2008, and scored back-to-back ID successes with Sundons Gift in 2009 and 2010.

In a nutshell, Lang was diagnosed with a mishmash of medical conditions – scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis and Reynaud’s Syndrome.

“It’s a connective tissue disease,” Lang said.

“I was hoping by stepping away from the driving it might resolve the issue, but it has stayed the same. It hasn’t gotten any better, but hasn’t gotten any worse.

“I’m hoping I can manage myself a bit better this time.”

The lengthy spell has revitalised the charismatic trots man. And if desire, skill and a fiercely competitive spirit mean anything, it won’t be long before Lang’s name is once again being etched on Group 1 trotting honour rolls.

 “The hunger’s really good. The three years off has been a great thing for me,” he said.

“Sometimes an extended spell can change a horse, and it’s certainly changed how I feel. I’ve got fresh eyes, a fresh outlook … everything is new again.”

The prospect of training quality trotters excites Lang. He has 10 horses in work, including Next Thru for owner and friend Richard Matthews.

That horse is a half-brother to Let Me Thru, who Lang trained for Matthews to win six Group 1s between 2009 and 2011 – including the $150,000 Australasian Trotting Championship Final at Tabcorp Park Melton.

Additionally Lang also has smart mare Derrie Aire and untapped CR Commander colt Miyabomba – a half-brother to Cobram Cup winner Quillabamba and a full sibling to 2011 Victoria Trotters Oaks runner-up Moyabamba – in his stables.

All going well, Miyabomba will be Lang’s first runner at Kilmore next Wednesday.

“I’ve had to have 15 trial drives because of the extended break and I’ll wrap those up this weekend,” Lang said.

“The goal now is to win another three Inter Dominions.”

 

Cody Winnell

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