FORMER outstanding pacer Khans Thunder has been laid to rest.
With old age catching up with the multiple Group One winner, owner Owen Romer made the tough decision yesterday according to the stallion’s trainer, Robbie O’Connell.
O’Connell made regular visits to Romer’s property throughout the years to catch up with “my old mate”.
“It’s one of those sad facts of life that time catches up with all of us,” O’Connell said. “This time it was my old mate Khan’s turn.
“He was 32 and just couldn’t go on any longer, so Owen did what was best for the horse just as he always did.
“Owen gave Khan a magnificent life after racing and treated him like a King until the end.”
Making a less than impressive start to his career, finishing towards the tail of the field upon debut, Khans Thunder quickly produced his best by scoring at his following outing.
By the end of his two-year-old season the son of Genghis Khan had five wins and two placings from eight starts, with his victories including the 1993 Sires’ Stake Final.
The following year Khans Thunder had 11 starts for eight wins and two placings.
His triumphs included the Oceania El Dorado and Victoria Derby, which saw him crowned 1994 Victorian Horse of the Year – only the second three-year-old to claim the coveted title.
Hypserstat was the first in 1986, with Tailamade Lombo, Courage Under Fire and Menin Gate following suit.
“He was the oldest surviving Victoria Derby winner,” O’Connell said. “That’s a huge credit to Owen for the way he has looked after him.”
Limited to seven four-year-old starts, for five wins and a second, Khans Thunder won his first three outings at five before niggling problems began to take effect.
Khans Thunder was eventually retired as an eight-year-old with 21 wins and 16 placings from 48 starts.
“He is the kind of horse we’re all in this sport hoping to get,” O’Connell said. “I’ll probably never get another like him, but that doesn’t stop you from trying.
“The beauty about a horse like him wasn’t just the races he won, it was a journey which we undertook with so many people.
“The good times and friends Khans Thunder provided can never be replaced.”