Luciani Racing News

Lou Luciani is one of the most experienced horse trainers in WA. He offers owners a complete package, from selecting and buying a horse through to agistment, training and racing. He takes care of everything – from organizing horse floats to taking care of paperwork – so that owners can have as much or as little hands-on as they want.

Friday, 12 October 2012


Over the past few weeks, news about the training partnership of Lou and Dion Luciani has appeared  in both the press and in Stewards reports in the form of Press Releases. Now I fully accept that Stewards have a job to do and that as a whole, they probably do a reasonable job. What I don't accept however is the intrusion of Stewards, when acting either in the interest of the horse or the punter or some faceless, gutless know all, who hides behind the curtain of an alias on some racing chat forum. To tell us when we can or can't start our horses, simply because our training method is not considered the norm, are down right stand over tactics of a forgone era.!!

Over the past few weeks, we have been subjected to more attention from stewards, firstly over my old mate GUYNO and now over a tough little competitor called SAXON COAST.

I will not bother to bore you with what took place as far as GUYNO is concerned. It is a long story without a happy ending however I will say that he passed all stringent tests he was put through by RWWA Vets and  it is now old news however the SAXON COAST issue really irks me. SAXON COAST was a late scratching from yesterdays Belmont meeting due to, as appears in the Stewards report - Veterinary Policy. Well gollllly!!!

The Policy which the scratching took place under appears clearly written in each publication of the Racing Ahead magazine and in part states:
Horses that have raced 4 times in 22 days will be formally "flagged" and Stewards will advise if the trainer's intention is to race again within 8 days.
 The Stewards and/or RWWA Veterinarians will interview the trainer to assess the horses past and future programs and training regime.
Following consultation with the trainer, where deemed appropriate acting on advice of the RWWA Vet.... blah blah blah.

My son was informed by a Steward at track work on Tuesday morning that SAXON COAST was to be scratched from his race the following day. So much for interview the trainer, consult the trainer etc etc. There was none of that. Simply a message that the horse would be scratched from his Wednesday engagement..
Now I may have become a bit cynical in my old age and I may have even become a bit forgetful. I haven't however lost my ability to count!

SAXON COAST had the first of his last four starts on September 12th 2012. He had the fourth of his past four starts on October 7th at Toodyay. Now I am no mathematical genius, but when I went to school 18 plus 7 made 25. (12/9/2012 to 30/9/2012 = 18days.  1/10/2012 to 7/10/2012 =7 days). Total 25 days.

Putting it bluntly,and trying to apply the situation to the policy in place, neither the Stewards nor Vets had any right to scratch this horse from yesterdays event as he fell well outside the policy guide lines and he should never have been "flagged" in the first place! Even if they remove his last start and go back, the horse should have been flagged previously as he had had four starts in 16 days however we then waited 14 days before he had his next start. They must have missed that one.

But hey, that's just my opinion and what the hell would I know. I do know that punters like to back winning horses and SAXON COAST would have been first or second favourite on Wednesday and would have been a real winning chance. If he didn't win, it would have had nothing to do with how many races he had competed in in however many days!

Maybe I may get a written explanation or even an apology to the owners but I won't be holding my breath.  

Thursday, 11 October 2012


OK. I know I have said it before and no doubt I will say it again but this time I am going to try even harder than I have in the past to keep my postings a bit more regular. For those of you who maintain a personal web page, I am sure you understand how hard it is and how time consuming it can be. That being said, it still is very interesting and can be a whole lot of fun.

My last posting was back in May when I had arrived in Adelaide with LETHAL JONES for a crack at the SAJC Derby. That was some five months ago and plenty has happened since then. And I mean PLENTY!!
Whilst there has been plenty to write about and plenty of news to update my News list and Horse list with, the truth is, I have been absolutely flat out.

Earlier this year, I fulfilled a life long dream by purchasing a property down south which my partner and I are setting up for spelling, as well as a some pretraining. Whilst not exactly seeking an alternative life style (I think that's the term), we have gone back to basics by growing our own veggies (fruit to come), as well as chooks for eggs and meat. After 40 years in Ascot, I figured it was time to go back to my roots and spend some time on the land before I get to old to lift a shovel. Having a partner who has a wealth of horse knowledge as well as the love of a rural life style, makes my life a whole lot easier.

All this combined with changing the property from a broken down cattle farm to a safe horse property whilst still keeping my finger on the pulse with my horses in Ascot has taken some doing I have to say. It would have been impossible to undertake such a task without the support of my son Dion and the team back home who are doing a marvelous job running the Ascot stables.  I now spend my days shared between Ascot and my new property which is working well for us all. When I am not in attendance at Ascot trackwork or stables, we speak five or six times daily trying to ensure everything continues to run smoothly. If Dion needs to go to sales or Kalgoorlie or one of his many holidays, I slot into the breech fairly easily. Come to think of it, the boy does seem to take a fair few holidays. I must make a note to address that habit!!!

Anyway, enough of the ramblings. You all know that if I am putting pen to paper again (or should that be finger to the keyboard?) then it is usually because I have something to say or to grizzle about. You would be right! Being down on my rural property gives me a whole new outlook on racing life. The people involved, the incidents which take place, the gossip and innuendo within the industry and many other facets of the world of racing. A great racing man once told me over 30 years ago that there is nothing new in racing. At the time I must admit that I had my own differing views however as I move along, I have come to realise that he was absolutely 100% correct.  It has all been done or attempted before. Anyway that is another story and I will go there another time.

Meanwhile, I have now been laid up by some shoulder surgery which means I cant do as much physical work as I would like so, while I am stuck indoors for a few weeks, I may as well get back into the world of Blogging!

So that is in a nutshell what I have been up to.Time permitting, I hope I can get back to doing my regular postings and also refresh the Horse list which is so out of date its not funny. A client recently brought that to my attention which just goes to show that there are still interested readers out there. OK it is now time to get serious.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012


It seems like only yesterday that I was sitting here in my motel room in Adelaide whilst campaigning my old mate GUYNO. Along the way we had won the Mornington Cup before winning the Lord Reims and finishing unplaced in the Adelaide Cup. It was a great trip however there has been much water under the bridge since then. GUYNO had a lengthy spell after a severe colic attack and failed to fire at his only two starts during the Autumn. He is now having a good spell before we give him another chance to get back to his best form by training him from my new Capel property during his next campaign.It is hard to believe that over 12 months has past since then.

This trip is a whole lot different to my last visit to S.A. Instead of having a grand old well travelled campaigner like GUYNO, I now have a far less experienced and more lightly raced young stayer in LETHAL JONES to take on the big guns from the east. The horse is here with only one race on his agenda, the SAJC DERBY over 2500m to be run this weekend at Morphettville.It is impossible to line up the form for the race as the horses have come from all parts of Australia for the race and there are some very exciting young staying types in the event.

LETHAL JONES has shown me in both his work and his races that he has the makings of a more than useful stayer in the future so a trip away from home to compete in a race like the Derby on Saturday should help him mature into a more complete package over the next season or two. While the trip and the experience will do him the world of good, that doesn't mean he is here for the practice only! If the horse runs up to his best form on Saturday AND the race is run as a true staying test, I expect him to be more than competetive.

I say a true staying test as from my point of view, the local W.A DERBY was as far removed from being a staying test as the Grand National is a test of speed. I don't want to print the words I uttered post race, nor my thoughts of the rides handed in by most of the riders in the race as I may upset someone or get slapped with another fine by the powers that be so I will let sleeping dogs lie on this occassion. 

The race on Saturday appears to have a mixture of both on pace runners, one paced runners and some sit back and storm home types. Some of the country's best riders will be here to ride in the race so don't be surprised if more than the odd top class stayer emerges from the race over the next season or two.

LETHAL JONES arrived in town this morning after being flown from Perth to Melbourne yesterday and catching a connecting float back across to Morphettville overnight. Still have trouble getting my head around that however that is the only way to get here from Perth unless of course we wanted to float all the way across the Nullabor. The horse had company the whole way as top trainer Neville Parnham also sent across his 3yo REIGN OF TERROR to compete in the same race. Both horses have travelled well and settled in well in their new stables so hopefiully we can both finish in the money to help pay for the trip.