March 15, 2023 Paul Courts
VICTORY in Saturday night’s Scotch Notch Memorial will be “exactly what’s needed” according to veteran horseman Robbie O’Connell.
Experiencing the highs and lows of racing – and life – during the past week, O’Connell is positive another win will keep the grin on his face.
O’Connell was smiling last weekend thanks Lunchwitharthur’s success at Tabcorp Park Melton, but it was a different scenario during the few previous days.
Along with battling a severe bout of gastro, O’Connell had to say goodbye to his “mate” Khans Thunder, which succumbed to old age.
During the 1990s, O’Connell prepared Khans Thunder to capture a Victoria Sires’ Stake Final, Oceania El Dorado and Victoria Derby before injury ultimately ended his career with 21 wins and 16 placings from 48 starts.
“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 (Romer, owner) 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.
“On top of that I’ve been crook as a dog and had to spend several days in bed…I’m just glad that’s over!”
As for O’Connell’s pending assignment, he will once again head to Tabcorp Park with Lunchwitharthur, which has drawn the pole in the 2240-metre feature.
“I couldn’t be happier with the way he has come back from a break,” O’Connell said. “He’s won both his starts, been working a treat and has drawn to get the job done again.
“Now he just has to get out there and do it….I can’t see any reason why he won’t.”