Truck driver, Truckie Profiles

Successful former jockey onto a winner as he turns to trucking

From the saddle of racehorses to behind the wheel of a truck is the story of 61-year-old Tasmanian driver Craig Luttrell.

What a great time to meet Luttrell with the Melbourne Cup running on November 7.

This former jockey has also ridden at the famous Flemington Racecourse where the race which stops a nation will be held.

Although he never rode in the Melbourne Cup, Luttrell still follows the sport and has given Big Rigs a tip for the event which receives coverage in more than 100 nations.

I saw Luttrell unloading milk from an Isuzu to a bakery in the main street of Ross, which is off the Midlands Highway between Launceston and Hobart.

Craig Luttrell after winning a group one race at Noumea.

Whilst yarning to Luttrell I never expected what he told me about being a jockey who rode with success in Tasmania, Victoria, NSW and overseas at Noumea in New Caledonia.

He now works for SRT Logistics and delivers around the Apple Isle.

“I started at Cambridge and am heading to Bicheno on the east coast today. We take milk. I have been a truckie for 14 months and love it,” he said.

With Luttrell was another driver named Sean Chatters who was also delivering milk into a popular Ross bakery.

Luttrell said he retired from being a jockey in 2018 and in his heyday rode many speedy and not so fast horses when his lowest weight was 45kg.

“I am now about 57kg and being 155cm tall was ideal to be a jockey,” he said.

Luttrell said during his long career as a jockey he rode just over 1000 winners.

“I was jockey on two Tasmanian Derby winners and in 1981 got beaten on a 140-1 outsider in a photo finish at Melbourne’s Flemington Racecourse. I also rode at Ballina and Coff’s Harbour in NSW and for years in New Caledonia,” he said.

Racing is in his blood and Luttrell also trained 500 winners of greyhound races and finished doing that in 2010.

“I trained the first ever winner named Classic Castle when the new Hobart greyhound track opened,” he said.

Born in Tasmania, Luttrell is relishing life as a truck driver and doesn’t mind the cold.

It was raining on the freezing the day I saw him. “You get used to it,” he said.

I asked Luttrell the reason he wanted to become a truckie at his age.

“I used to drive horse trucks and liked it and applied for a job and got it and this has been great for me,” he said.

As for that aforementioned tip for the Melbourne Cup, Luttrell reckons that a horse called Vauban can take out the big race, as he believes it has the ideal credentials.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Send this to a friend