Family circumstances took John Lugg away from Kalgoorlie. And it’s family circumstances that has brought him back.
After more than a decade away, the popular horseman is making an emotional return to the goldfields.
“I haven’t had a runner in Kalgoorlie for 12 years.
“My wife got bowel cancer that year and we moved to Perth for her treatment.
“She beat the cancer and we then got the canteen at Ascot serving coffees in the morning.
“We had that for seven or eight years and that sort of curtailed my training career for a while.
“She got cancer back again two years ago and unfortunately passed away.
“I’ve got family in Kal (Kalgoorlie) and spent a lot of good years here.
“It was a sort of a no brainer for me to come back here.
“It’s always been a great town for me and I have trained a lot of winners here.
“I’ve got a nephew here and his wife and two kids.
“It just seemed the right time for me and I moved up about six months ago.
“I love the town and it’s always been part of my life.
“I’m happy to be back with a couple of horses.”
The Lugg name sits prominently on the Kalgoorlie-Boulder Racing Club’s honour roll.
He prepared Violent Wind to win the 2004 Kalgoorlie Cup and won the Hannans Handicap (1998) with Go The Grey.
A win to launch the first meeting of the 2019 Kalgoorlie season would cap a top return for the experienced trainer.
He saddles Vital Touch in race five and Alma Bubbles in the sixth.
He fancies the prospects of Vital Touch.
“She comes from the Colin Webster stable and it’s very hard to improve on them because Colin is a great trainer,” Lugg said.
“But I think it might be her sort of race, 1100m, fresh, her work has been terrific and she has done really well.
“Fingers crossed. It will be my first runner in Kal for 12 years and it will be great to win a race.”