IT WASN’T the fairy tale comeback he hoped for but veteran reinsman Robbie O’Connell “thoroughly enjoyed” his racing return.
After an extended absence from driving, O’Connell partnered Power Pass at Tabcorp Park Melton tonight.
Although he has continuously trained a small team, O’Connell hadn’t driven in a race since occupying the cart behind Juke Kartel in Maryborough in December 2014.
A multiple Group One winning reinsman, O’Connell’s previous success was with Opaque – also in Maryborough – in December 2010.
The 69-year-old was semi-retired between his last win and drive!
Recently discarding “ring rust” with trial drives, O’Connell found himself caught three-wide from barrier four before easing Power Pass to the tail of the field.
Struggling to stay in touch with the pack, Power Pass finished an inglorious last, beaten 45-and-a-half metres, as Paddington Central led throughout with Anthony Butt in the cart.
“I’ve had a few changes to my life in recent years, I’m 70 in May and I figure I might as well have some fun,” O’Connell said.
“I always enjoyed driving and one day just figured I’d get out there again.
“I never realised how much I missed the comradery until I started driving in the trials again.
“Things didn’t go too well tonight, not that I expected them to, but it was great being out there.
“I’ll just put it down to not having driven for a while, so I’m not race fit…give me a few starts to tighten up and I’ll improve!”