Q&A with Greg O'Connor
1: Best horse who you have ever been associated or worked with (owned, bred, jogged, trained, driven):
Monkey King. Got the chance to have a drive on him not long after he retired. Amazing feeling from the 400m when he basically drove himself.
2: Best horse you have ever seen live:
Christian Cullen. I define a champion as being unbeatable over a decent period. He was that and is still the best looking standardbred I have seen.
3: Best horse you have seen in any form (live, on tv, on the internet):
Varenne. Freakish Italian trotter who was the first non American to win the Breeders Crown. Amazing gate and speed.
4: If you could have any driver in history driving for you in most important race of your life, it would be?:
5: The best trainer you have ever seen:
Paul Nairn. Genius.
6: Your favourite racetrack:
Addington. Self explanatory.
7: The unluckiest or hardest to swallow defeat of your career:
Just An Excuse in his attempt to win 3 Cups in a row. He had a slight bleed in the last week leading into the Cup and the pressure on (RF) Robert Mitchell was immense. Robert was staying out home and I remember waiting for him to come up the drive after he worked on the Sunday. He was fine and was so courageous off 10m in the Cup I often wonder what might have been had he had a better last week.
8: The race you have never won but would love to:
Dominion Trot. It’s the NZ Cup of the trotting gate and Karen loves her trotters so that would be the one for me.
9: The horse we never got to see the best of:
Stig. We got to see some astonishing performances from him but what his career could have been had he been sound?
10: The racing win, yours or somebody elses, that gave you the most joy:
Yulestar in the 2001 Interdom Final. They can’t win from four the fence at Albion Park not against a classic ID Final field. Being their with my dad and brother Mo cheering on my mate Tony Shaw is hard to top.
11: Who is the person in harness racing you haven’t seen since lockdown started you are looking forward to seeing the most when we get back to the track:
Everad Petrie. Trackside director who is always upbeat and cool regardless of the situation. It will be awesome to hear him through my earpiece when we get back to the track.